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Employers should allow flexibility to accommodate workers’ “complex lifestyles”

More employers need to allow for flexibility in the way their employees work, so they can work around their “complex lifestyles”, experts have said.

Paul Roberts, of insurance company IHC, said employers need to employ a “firm but fair” attitude to staff when they are absent, and recognise the need for flexibility in terms of family and other commitments.

The healthcare consultant said: “Managers need to manage the soft side of life and understand the team that reports to them so there is flexibility to deal with our complex lifestyles and a firm but fair line drawn so that abuse of the process is limited.”

Mr Roberts spoke out after PwC released figures showing that absenteeism costs the UK economy around £32,000 a year. Research also showed that UK workers take almost twice the amount of sick days than their US counterparts.

The Office for National Statistics revealed earlier this year that the number of sick days had substantially risen compared to previous years.