SICKNESS COSTS SOUTH
EAST 1.5 BILLION PER YEAR
Employee sickness in the South East is the highest in the
, costing the region £1.5 billion every year. The South East England
Regional Assembly is calling for action from the business and public
sector to improve performance.
Over 120,000 workers call in sick every week, leaving the South East
region with the highest sickness rate in the
at 3.3%. On average, employees took 7.8 days absence per year.
The Assembly wants the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA),
businesses, public sector and the NHS to work together to cut absence
· SEEDA identifying patterns and causes of absence among key groups in
the region's workforce and identifying measures to alleviate absence
through a revised Regional Economic Strategy
· Employers contributing to better health, using occupational health
practices aimed at the early detection or prevention of illness among
· The Public Sector learning from best practice and finding practical
ways to promote the health of public sector employees
· The NHS setting an example to all by developing employment practices
to make a healthier NHS workplace through the NHS Workforce Strategy.
Candy Morris, Chief Executive of the Kent and Medway Strategic Health
Authority, said: "The South East is the economic engine of the
country. Avoidable sickness absence not only diminishes our quality of
life but also constrains productivity and reduces competitiveness. The
Assembly wants to help improve workplace health by actively working with
the business and public sector."
Research for the Cabinet Office identifies factors that affect workers'
health and that employers need to tackle. These include:
· Long term health conditions
· Stress at work
· Lack of job control
· Job security
· Social support at work.
Lesley van Dijk, PR Executive at the Regional Assembly 01483
Heather Bolton, Head of Communications at the Regional Assembly 01483
1) Sickness is costing the
£11 billion per year.
2) The South East has a population of 8 million with 3.8 million
employed people. The sickness absence rate of 3.3% relates to
123,678 people sick per week.
3) About 1 in 3 people live with a long-term condition such as diabetes,
high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, arthritis.
4) The South East
England Regional Assembly is the 'voluntary regional chamber' for the
South East. It was established in January 1999 to give a
representative voice to the South East region, which covers
, Buckinghamshire, East and
Isle of Wight
, Oxfordshire, and
5) The Regional Assembly is made up of 111 members including
elected councillors nominated by the region's local authorities and 37
representatives from other sectors of the community (including business,
trades unions, education, housing, health, sports, culture, tourism,
faith groups, environmental, community and voluntary organisations).
assembly is not a directly elected body but is a government appointed
6) The Assembly has
three areas of core business:
a) It is the representative voice of the South East, engaging and
representing its member organisations and, through them, the wider
b) The Assembly has a specific role under the Regional Development
Agencies' Act 1998 to ensure the accountability of the South East
England Development Agency (SEEDA) to the region.
c) The Assembly has been the Regional Planning Body for the South East
since April 2001. It has responsibility for proposing strategic planning
and transport policies to Government.
Please visit the South East England Regional Assembly's website for
further information at www.southeast-ra.gov.uk.