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Monday tops the weekly absence league

Research has shown that workers are more likely to take a sick day on Monday than on any other day of the week. What's behind the Monday malaise?

Analysis of the sickness management records for 11,000 individual employees across a range of private-sector organisations by consultant firm Mercer in 2009 revealed that 35 per cent of all sick leave is taken on a Monday. Attendance then increases as the week progresses, with Fridays conversely accounting for the fewest sick days of all, at just 3 per cent.

Monday sickness and frequent short-term absences can often be tell-tale signs of poor levels of employee engagement and low morale in an organisation. Experts suggest that employers need to look for the real reasons behind regular Monday absences instead of accepting explanations at face value. Are staff being asked to take on too much work, for example, or put in very long hours? Are there other things which could be causing stress among staff, such as worries over job security or pay? Could a greater degree of flexible or home working help beat the Monday blues?

Acas absence policy training helps employers to reduce absence in the workplace and improve overall workplace productivity. Experts are also on hand to work with organisations to assess specific needs and design tailored training programmes. Acas also offers training on flexible working and implementing family-friendly policies in the workplace.

Visit the Acas training and business solutions area for more information.

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