Sickness absence is costly to any business. A focus on reducing workplace absence will improve overall productivity and help you to avoid potential tribunals resulting from stress and anxiety in the workplace.

Days lost due to work-related ill-health.

Days lost due to work-related ill-health in 2021-2022 were as follows, according to the HSE:

  • Stress, depression or anxiety – 17 million
  • Musculoskeletal disorders – 7.3 million

Our factsheet provides support and guidance on how to reduce sickness absence.


1. Maintain an open dialogue about employee absence

The word 'sick' and a question mark as written on a board.

Around 15 million people in England live with long-term conditions. Examples include heart disease and diabetes – and many are now living with long-Covid.

Introducing reasonable adjustments for people living with long-term conditions will enable them to continue working and reduce sickness absence.

The nature of long-term conditions means that people’s conditions will fluctuate, and some will have good and not-so-good days. ClearTalents allows employees to update their profiles anytime acting as a springboard for conversations between employees and employers.

Recommendations for employees with long-term conditions

In summary, we recommend the following:

  • Empower employees to ask for reasonable adjustments.
  • Maintain an ongoing conversation about shifting health conditions.
  • Encourage employees to take time off when they genuinely need it.
  • Making reasonable adjustments such as flexible working hours for staff who have long-term conditions.
  • Keep the conversation going – ClearTalents alerts managers when someone updates their inclusion passport – this may include a change in health.

2. Make sure people have the right equipment

Musculoskeletal disorders are one of the leading causes of workplace absence. Poor posture and poorly configured workstations can contribute to musculoskeletal disorders. That’s why ClearTalents includes two workstation profiles for the home and office environment.

ClearTalents workstation profiles include a Display Screen Equipment assessment, which is required for all employees using a computer or electronic equipment with a screen at a desk (either their own or hot-desking). ClearTalents has a specific section covering all the DSE requirements and providing detailed recommendations for employers and employees and additional resources around safe working.

Our focus on workplace adjustments means we will also identify employees needing specific equipment, such as an ergonomic keyboard and mouse. Making sure that staff have the right equipment helps to keep staff healthy.

ClearTalents has enabled Lloyds to proactively manage requests for workplace adjustments. It is a cost-effective tool for managing both DSE and workplace-related adjustments.

It is a legal requirement to make reasonable adjustments accounting for the nine protected characteristics listed in The Equality Act, 2010. One of these characteristics is disability.

Our tool will help identify the reasonable adjustments that will empower disabled people.

Recommendations for workplace adjustments

In summary, we recommend the following:

  • Conducts a Display Screen Equipment assessment for all staff every year.
  • Empower staff to ask for reasonable adjustments.
  • Make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees so they can perform at their best in their roles. It is also a legal requirement under The Equality Act 2010.