Creative week ahead for Christchurch
New Zealand has witnessed an increase in employee absences, with workers missing 10 million days of work in 2022.
This figure is the highest it has been in a decade, according to the latest Workplace Wellness Report published by BusinessNZ and Southern Cross Health Society.
The report also highlighted an average of 5.5 days off taken by employees, leading to an annual loss of $1235 per employee for employers.
The direct costs of absenteeism in the country reached $2.86 billion, a significant rise from $1.85 billion recorded in 2020.
Illnesses, including Covid-19, were identified as the most common reason for time off work, followed by caring for an unwell dependent.
Despite these statistics, the report indicated improvements in how businesses and organizations care for their employees’ wellbeing.
This includes better support systems for mental health and recognition of duty of care towards workers’ families.
Close to half of the businesses surveyed reported increased stress levels in 2022, primarily attributed to general workload pressures.
Financial concerns and relationships outside work were identified as top non-work stressors.
An increase in minimum sick leave entitlements from five to ten days per year in July 2021 was also noted as a factor contributing to the rise in absences.
Businesses must continue striving to enhance workplace wellness and address the factors causing stress and absenteeism in order to curb unemployment rates in New Zealand.