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Managing the Costs of Occupational and Non-Occupational Absence and Disability


How much do unplanned employee absences cost US companies a day? $100 million? $500 million? The real number is actually much higher: $1.7 billion per day. Including both direct and indirect costs, such as replacement labor and lost productivity, the total cost of health-related absences is 8% to 9% of payroll, according to Mercer, one of the Marsh & McLennan Companies. That adds up to more than $400 billion each year. Thus it’s no surprise that employers are looking for ways to better manage employee absences.

“Managing the Costs of Occupational and Non-Occupational Absence and Disability” explores in depth three principal strategies for combatting the costs of employee absences, whether they result from temporary illnesses and family care issues, short- and long-term disability, or workplace injuries.

The report covers:

  • Return-to-work strategies and tactics.
  • Integrated health and disability management programs.
  • Outsourcing management of family medical leave and short-term disability programs to third-party administrators.

Occupational and non-occupational return-to-work programs, integrated health and disability programs, wellness programs, and other steps can help keep employees healthy and safe and reduce the time that injured employees stay away from work. Although employers cannot fully eliminate the costs of employee absences, these programs and other actions can help them reduce the cost and impact of absences on their workforce and operations.