Policies to reduce sickness absence and disability
An airport services company has 500 employees, over half of whom work shifts. In recent years the company has identified a growing problem with sickness-absence and occupational . They initiated a programme to improve workers’ overall health and work-life balance by taking a life course approach.
With the significant costs associated with sickness-absence, management wanted to improve overall health. They recognised that change has to come from both a supportive company and the workers themselves. The company involved the top-management and workers in co-creating a plan that targeted changes to both working conditions as well as lifestyle. For workers over 55, flexible working, increased time-off to recover between shifts and transfer/retraining were made available. In addition, health monitoring and related seminars took place at work.
Management was also trained on dealing with senior worker issues. The programme reduced sickness-absence and the number of workers diagnosed with occupational , as well as increasing retirement age by three years. These were linked to an improved worker satisfaction rating of 90%.