At a cost of more than £14 billion to the UK economy¹, absence remains a serious issue for businesses.
But even the most astute and strategic HR managers might struggle to deal with some excuses employees cite as their reason to take a sick day…
- “A tin of baked beans landed on my big toe…”
- “I’m in A&E as I got a clothes peg stuck on my tongue…”
- “My false teeth flew out of the window while driving down the motorway…”
- “A swarm of bees have surrounded my car so I can’t make it in…”
- “My heat was shut off so I have to stay home to keep my snake warm…”
- “My dog was having a nervous breakdown…”
- “I had a dream last night that I will be hit by a truck today…”
- “I can’t find my car – it seems to be missing…”
- “Someone glued my doors and windows shut so I can’t leave the house…”
- “I can’t decide what to wear…”
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More than half of UK businesses have no policy for the use of e-cigarettes in the workplace, new research has revealed.
The study from employee health risk specialist PMI Health Group found that 58 per cent of companies have yet to introduce a policy, with 53 per cent saying they are unconcerned over staff use of e-cigarettes, commonly known as ‘vaping’.
“There is currently a lack of agreement among health professionals over the health risks of e-cigarettes and this makes it difficult for employers to take a firm stance on their use,” said Mike Blake, Director at PMI Health Group.
“The failure to establish a clear policy can leave employees in a state of limbo which can lead to friction and disputes among workers.”
More than three-quarters (79 per cent) of those companies that have introduced e-cigarette policies prohibit their use in all enclosed working environments, in line with the cigarette smoking ban restrictions (Health Act 2006 and associated regulations).
In the wake of advice from the British Medical Association, the BBC recently introduced a ban on the use of e-cigarettes in all of its buildings. This followed similar moves by insurer Standard Life and machinery firm JCB.
Fifty-seven per cent of those businesses that haven’t brought their policy in line with the smoking ban permit staff to vape at designated locations within the workplace, such as canteens or rest rooms. The remaining 43 per cent allow staff to vape at any time, in any workplace location.
According to anti-tobacco charity Ash, the number of e-cigarette smokers in the UK has increased from 700,000 to two million in the past two years.