In a cross-survey with IFOP, the Diot-Siaci Group reveals an increase in the rate of absenteeism among employees in 2022 across all business sectors
Paris, April XX, 2023 – The Diot-Siaci Group, leader in corporate property and personal insurance consulting and brokerage, unveils the results of a joint survey with the IFOP opinion polling institute, conducted in March 2023 among 3,000 employees, and the findings of a Statistical Observatory set up by Diot-Siaci covering 4 years from 2019 to 2022, based on 660,000 individuals in 2022. These results provide an in-depth understanding of the situation of French employees and companies with regard to absenteeism.
The percentage of employees absent at least once during the year has reached an all-time high… and is particularly on the rise among young people under 35.
First of all, we note that the absenteeism rate in 2022 is higher than in 2021, sitting at 5.64%, up from 4.94%. This is similar to the level seen in 2020 (5.62%) despite a shorter average length of absence which correlates strongly with the health crisis and more particularly with the Omicron variant. The rise in the rate of absenteeism is linked to the increase in the number of employees absent at least once during the year, which reached an all-time high in 2022 with 45% of employees on permanent and fixed-term contracts (compared to only 35% in 2021).
All age categories saw an increase in absenteeism between 2021 and 2022; however, only employees under 25 and the 25-34 group had higher levels of absence than in 2020. Levels of absenteeism are therefore continuing to rise more rapidly among younger employees, a trend that is even more pronounced when we analyze the figures from 2019 to 2022.
More than one employee in two is seeing their mental and physical health affected by their work…
Most French employees continue to believe that their work can have a negative impact on their mental health (62%) or their physical health (52%), and these two aspects are cumulative and interdependent. In fact, 72% of those who have a physically demanding job believe it can also affect their psychological health (up 10 points from the average), and 62% of those whose job has negative consequences for their mental health also find it physically challenging (up 10 points from the average).
… and stress is one of the primary causes.
Among the factors that have the greatest impact on their mental health according to affected employees are primarily stressful situations (67%), too heavy a workload (51%), or lack of recognition (46%). While these factors are predominantly linked to how their work is organized, the working environment is cited by significant numbers of respondents, with a third of them mentioning psychological pressure from their manager(s) or a poor work atmosphere among colleagues.
Stress, which in the collective imagination is seen as more toxic for employees’ mental health, has also consequences for their physical health that are just as dramatic.
When it comes to occupational health problems, employees expect action at company level as a whole, but also at the more immediate level of their manager
The findings are categorical: only one third of employees surveyed (32%) believe that the managers in their company are sufficiently aware of Psychosocial Risks (PSRs), even though these are increasingly central factors in major corporate transformations.
Absenteeism for reasons other than health is on the decline, accounting for 16% of employee absences from work in 2022, 7 points down from 2021. As far as “fake” absences are concerned, 2% of employees report having taken time off work in 2022 for personal reasons or because they were denied leave.
At the same time, interest in various health-related training programs is increasing, whether on the prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) (71% of employees interested, up 6 points compared to 2021), stress management and prevention of PSRs (67%, up 8 points), but also on more personal and private subjects such as advice on sleep (56%, up 5 points), assistance for sick relatives (50%, up 8 points), or a psychological helpline (50%, up 9 points). These results confirm employees’ expectations that the company should play a greater role.
“While the issue of absenteeism is often perceived or managed through the prism of lack of employee commitment, the findings of the survey show very clearly that it is in fact occupational health that is the root cause of the overwhelming majority of absences. This survey also clearly underlines the fact that employees are calling for actions with a greater focus on working conditions,” according to Sabeiha BOUCHAKOUR, Director of QWL-Prevention at Diot-Siaci.
Diot-Siaci is a leading multi-specialist consulting, insurance and reinsurance brokerage group in France and Europe, with a presence in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Diot-Siaci designs and develops innovative solutions tailored to the needs of its clients, including large and mid-cap companies, SMEs/SMIs, and professionals, in both personal insurance and property and liability insurance. Diot-Siaci has a stable, family-owned shareholding base which means it can support its clients in their transformation by meeting their needs across the entire value chain in Property & Casualty, Marine and Cargo, Professional Third Party Liability, Employee Benefits and Consulting, and International Mobility. With almost 5,000 employees and an extensive international network, the Group operates worldwide and generated revenue of almost €800 million in 2022.
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