Absenteeism lowest in technology sector – PwC

12 Jul 2011

European technology companies have the lowest absence rates of any sector, at 7.6 days, according to a survey released today by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

This is because technology firms are often particularly innovative when it comes to keeping employees committed, according to PwC. Intellectual capital is hugely important for these businesses, so making sure they get the best out of their people and avoid unnecessary absence is a priority.

The data for European banking and finance is just behind technology, with absence averaging 7.8 days. People who work in financial services tend to be highly motivated and for some roles even a day’s unexpected leave can have a significant impact on results and reward, PwC said.

Nearly a week absent each year

The survey showed that Irish employees have an average of 6.4 days unscheduled absence from their jobs each year. This compares to an average of 10.1 days for the UK, 9.7 days for Western Europe as a whole and 5.5 days for the US.

Sickness accounts for around 80pc of absence, which also covers jury service and compassionate leave. PwC’s absence research is based on data gathered from 2,000 companies by its Saratoga team.

With the average Irish salary of €36,000, absenteeism is costing Irish businesses about €1.4bn per annum.

“Although absenteeism is a malaise for business, Ireland scores well amongst its European counterparts. Our research could indicate Irish businesses are ahead of the game in boosting morale and motivation, which in turn have a bearing on health. The recession may also be a factor in that people are minding their jobs and want to do their best to add value, no matter what the challenges,” said Dervla McCormack, consulting partner, PwC Ireland.

Photo: Dervla McCormack, consulting partner, PwC Ireland

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