Percentage of days lost to sickness absence in the UK 2009-2022, by reason

Percentage of days lost through sickness absence in the United Kingdom from 2009 to 2022, by reason

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Release date

April 2023


United Kingdom

Survey time period


Age group

16 years and older

Supplementary notes

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic a high number of people in employment were on furlough (away from work which they expect to return to) during 2020 which has impacted some of the measures of sickness absence; some of the falls seen in 2020 will be because there were fewer people in work,
Musculoskeletal problems' includes back pain, neck and upper limb problems and other musculoskeletal problems
Other' includes the total number of days lost to diabetes as well as days lost to accidents, poisonings, infectious diseases, skin disorders and anything else not covered.

Sickness absence rates do not account for the total length of absence because the Labour Force Survey can only measure up to seven days off work during the interviewee’s reference week.

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