Survey finds more than half of HR professionals lack understanding of employer’s liability claims, and only one-third involved in buying insurance

Awareness of the cost of employee absence to business is staggeringly low among senior HR professionals, according to research by QBE.

More than 70% of those surveyed, who represented organisations of all sizes throughout the UK, did not know the average daily cost of employee absence.

More than 60% of those surveyed were not aware of on-going employer’s liability claims within their organisation with only just over one-third (34%) actively involved in the purchase of their employer’s liability insurance cover.

The QBE survey also revealed that investment in improving return to work rates has either stalled or reduced in 2013 (as indicated by 56% of those surveyed) and that the majority (64%) did not believe that NHS services were actively supporting their organisation in getting absent employees back to work.

Rosie Hewitt, Rehabilitation Manager at QBE commented “The direct cost of employee absence to the UK economy was estimated at £14 billion in 2012* and improving return to work rates would significantly reduce this figure. We know that early intervention dramatically improves recuperation and consequently return to work rates, which is why having the right rehabilitation programmes in place can have a huge impact. It is essential that Senior HR personnel are more cognizant of their employee absence rates, have a management plan in place and are actively consulted when their company is purchasing employers’ liability cover”