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‘Sunny weather syndrome’ hits UK companies


Drought - Photo Central Audiovisual Library, European Commission

Rising temperatures has meant that increasing numbers of UK workers are calling in sick, according to a survey by Active Health Partners. Its experts estimate that 23,000 working days were lost in absenteeism as the weather reached its highest temperatures last week and statistics show that a one-degree increase in temperature causes 2000 more people to stay at home.

Throwing sickies when the weather is good is no surprise but with British temperatures well in excess of the seasonal average (in the past twelve years nine have been successively hotter, according to Met office statistics) the increased amount of sunny days could create a serious absence problem for HR.

“British weather is renowned for being temperamental so it’s not surprising that people are tempted to make the most of the good weather when it is here,” said Alan Aldridge, Managing Director at Active Health Partners.

However, he warned that “companies should look at ways to combat this growing trend especially as the weather looks to continue getting warmer. Using a consistent and complete approach to measure absenteeism across the workforce is essential to get a full understanding of absence trends”.

He said that if employers monitor employee sickness from the moment they call in sick “they can uncover the real reasons for absenteeism – from ‘sunny weather syndrome’ through to stressful working environments”.

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