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Causes of short-term absences from work in the United Kingdom in 2019

In 2019 in the United Kingdom (UK), the most common cause of short-term absence from work was minor illnesses, with this being a top three cause of short term absence for 93 percent of organizations surveyed. Furthermore, musculoskeletal injuries was a leading reason for 52 percent of respondents, followed by 38 percent who reported short-term absences for stress.

Most common causes of short-term absences from work in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2019*

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Release date

March 2020


United Kingdom

Survey time period

October to November 2019

Number of respondents

689 respondents

Method of interview


Supplementary notes

* Data shows share of respondents who included the cause in their top 3 causes of absence.

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Statistics on "Stress and well-being in the United Kingdom (UK)"

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