Mercer: Absenteeism remains very high in 2021

Mercer breaks down the cost of absenteeism for businesses.

In 2021, the absenteeism rate will decrease compared to 2020, but will remain very high, at around 4.8%, according to the Mercer Barometer.

After an atypical 2020 record-breaking absenteeism, work stoppages remain at a very high level in 2021. The absenteeism rate stands at 4.8%, down 0.2 percentage points by 2020, but up 0.2 points from 2019.

Mercer attributes this development to parts of Covid’s impact on mental health. « Stoppages due to RPS (psychosocial risks) have increased significantly and the causes are clear: social remoteness, uncertainty about the future, child management, », Says Florian Bocognano, head of the technical department and of the Mercer Marsh Benefits France offer. In addition, the broker points the finger at the musculoskeletal disorders associated with widespread telecommuting. which led to additional health consumption (physiotherapist, osteopath,…) and major work stoppages in 2021 ».

Less frequent but longer stops

The proportion of employees who had at least one break of more than three days in the year remained stable compared to 2019, around 36%. The average length of arrests, on the other hand, is on the rise, according to Mercer’s barometer. It will go from 30 days in 2019 to almost 32 days in 2021.

Teleworking has had a positive impact on short stops of less than 6 days, which are declining. In contrast, arrests of between 6 and 90 days now account for 67% of work stoppages, compared to 51% in 2019. Stops of more than 180 days are also declining.

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

The most affected sectors are call centers (11.0%), trade and distribution (7.3%) and transport (6.2%). In contrast, 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% of indirect costs

In his barometer, Mercer details the cost of absenteeism for businesses. Concerning the direct costs, Mercer estimates the cost of maintaining the salary of the absent employee at 25% and the administrative costs of the staff needed to manage the absences at 3%.

The insurance impact represents 5% of the total cost and includes the impacts on the medical consumption of the absent employee. This consumption is three times higher than that of an active period, according to Mercer, which wrote ” a strong absenteeism therefore weighs on the health system ». In the insurance impact, the broker also considered the increase in AT-MP contributions taken by health insurance.

The remaining 67% of the cost is due to indirect effects of the work stoppage on the “ productivity, disorganization, degradation of the company’s image, the fall of the course in the race or the difficulties in attracting talent ».

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