Mercer: Absenteeism remains very high in 2021

Mercer breaks down the cost of absenteeism to businesses.

In 2021, the absenteeism rate decreases compared to 2020, but remains very high, around 4.8%, according to the Mercer barometer.

After an atypical year 2020 where absenteeism broke records, work stoppages remain at a very high level in 2021. The absenteeism rate stands at 4.8%, down 0.2 points compared to to 2020, but up 0.2 points compared to 2019.

Mercer attributes this development in part to the mental health impacts of Covid. ” Stops for reasons of PSR (psychosocial risks) have greatly increased and the causes are clear: social distancing, uncertainty about the future, management of children, etc. “, says Florian Bocognano, manager of the technical and offer department of Mercer Marsh Benefits France. In addition, the broker points the finger at the musculoskeletal disorders linked to generalized telework ” which have generated additional health consumption (physiotherapist, osteopath, etc.) and significant work stoppages in 2021 “.

Less frequent but longer stops

The proportion of employees having had at least one stoppage of more than three days during the year remained stable compared to 2019, around 36%. The average duration of the stops is on the other hand in progression, according to the barometer of Mercer. It goes from 30 days in 2019 to nearly 32 days in 2021.

Telecommuting has had a positive impact on short breaks of less than 6 days, which are down. On the other hand, stoppages between 6 and 90 days now represent 67% of work stoppages, compared to 51% in 2019. Stoppages of more than 180 days are also decreasing.

The absenteeism rate is higher among women with children (5.5%) compared to women without children (4.4%) and compared to men with children (3.7%). The Mercer study also confirms that absenteeism increases with the age of the employee and the size of the company and that non-executive employees have an absenteeism rate twice as high, around 8 .4%, than executives (3.1%).

The most affected sectors are call centers (11.0%), trade and distribution (7.3%) and transport (6.2%). Conversely, the sectors with the fewest work stoppages are training and education (2.5%), syntec (2.7%), and banking, finance, insurance and real estate (3%).

67% indirect costs

In its barometer, Mercer details the cost of absenteeism for companies. Concerning the direct costs, Mercer estimates at 25% the cost of maintaining the salary of the absent employee and at 3% the administrative costs of the personnel, necessary for the management of absences.

The insurance impact represents 5% of the total cost and includes the impact on the medical consumption of the absent employee. This consumption is three times higher than that of an active period, according to Mercer, who writes ” high absenteeism therefore weighs on the health system “. In the insurance impact, the broker also took into consideration the increase in AT-MP contributions deducted by health insurance.

The rest of the cost, i.e. 67%, corresponds to the indirect effects of the work stoppage on productivity, disorganization, degradation of the company’s image, falling stock prices or even difficulties in attracting talent “.

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