Staff absence rates rise in charities

Organisations lost 9.4 days per employee in 2008/09, says CIPD

Absence levels in the voluntary sector went up in the past year, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

The institute's annual survey, Absence Management, shows charities, voluntary groups and not-for-profit organisations lost an average 9.4 days per employee in 2008/09, compared with 8.5 days in 2007/08.

In contrast, absence levels were lower than last year in the public and private sectors.

But the survey showed the cost of absences to not-for-profit organisations had fallen from an average of £741 per employee per year to £698.

It also said 38 per cent of not-for-profit organisations had set a target for reducing absences, compared with 63 per cent in the public sector.

The online survey, carried out in March this year, includes data from 68 charities, voluntary groups and not-for-profit organisations.
Ben Willmott, senior public policy adviser at the CIPD, said it was interesting that charities had bucked the downward trend in absence levels.

"In the public and private sectors it seems the recession has contributed to a fall in the overall level of employee absence, but this was not the case with the voluntary sector," he said.

"This may be because the sector has been less affected by the recession, or it may be that it lacks the private sector's hard edge in including absence records as criteria when selecting for redundancy."

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