More than two thirds (68%) of employers believe that absenteeism is a growing issue for their business, according to research by Legal & General.

Only 8% of those employers surveyed as part of the Workplace Wellbeing research said they would never treat absenteeism as a threat to their business.

The research, surveyed 2000 full-time employees and 200 Managing Directors or HR Managers from a range of different sized companies, revealed that employee absenteeism was estimated to cost businesses in the UK on average £120,000 a year.

The majority (97%) of employers also revealed they are interested in a solution that would reduce the cost of absenteeism.

Over half (54%) of employers agreed the biggest threat would be an increase in long-term absence levels and 43% agreed that they were worried about the cost to cover the work of the absent employee.

The research was produced by the FTSE 100 insurer’s Workplace Health and Protection division to raise awareness of how unexpected long-term absence can affect the finances and longevity of businesses across the UK, and reveals that a vast majority of employers are aware of this threat and the potential for absenteeism to become more of an issue.

Martin Noone, managing director, Legal & General Workplace Health and Protection, said: “That 68% of employers we surveyed think that absenteeism is a growing issue for their business reiterates our concern that is a problem which is becoming more prevalent. Our research shows that employers estimate absenteeism costs their business an average of £120,000 annually which is a huge cost and one that many employers do not necessarily think about, even less mitigate for.

“Our research highlights the interest from employers to find a solution that would help to reduce the cost of employee absences to their business. Group Income Protection can aid the longevity and stability of a business, but is also important for an employee who has had to take unexpected long-term leave. The employee can be provided with the essential financial support and rehabilitation where appropriate, to allow a speedy recovery, meaning the individual will be able to return back to work at the earliest possible time.”