BrightHR reveals the staff absence trends that swept the UK in 2022

From the shortest serving UK prime minister to the death of the longest reigning monarch, 2022 is a year that will go down in the history books. But will you remember the take-away business lessons?

BrightHR has crunched the numbers from over one million employees using their HR software, to reveal valuable insights on staff absence trends, and advice to help businesses prepare for the year ahead.

Alan Price, CEO at BrightHR, comments on the key results:

“This year’s data has given us a real insight into the nation’s absence and lateness habits. One surprising discovery was the levels of staff disengagement in 2022, with a 90% rise in average lateness. When compared to 2020 this figure is even higher – a staggering 206% increase!

“The largest industrial action in more than 30 years also had an impact, with rail worker strikes causing disruption for many commuters. On Tuesday 13 December, our timekeeping app recorded the biggest delay caused by a strike, with a 61% rise in lateness compared to the average weekday in 2022.

“With costs rising and wages not keeping up with them, people looked to save money any way they could. When the UK inflation rate hit 10.1% in August, it’s no surprise that discount hunters were out in force. Bright Exchange, our online discount marketplace, recorded its highest number of visitors on August 18, the day after this announcement.

“Sporting events continue to have a significant impact. England’s loss to France in the World Cup was the most watched TV sports event of the year. And while you can’t trust England to make the finals, you can always trust football fans to party a little too hard after a big match, with lateness on Sunday 11 December up 71% compared to the average Sunday in 2022.

“We did, however, see much more positivity around the Women’s Euros, with a 61% increase in annual leave requests for Sunday 31 July – the day the Lionesses won the tournament.

“As all business owners know, planning is key, and it seems that fans anticipated this historic win. BrightHR data showed a 56% increase in holiday requests for Monday 1 August – resulting in almost no lateness.

“In summary, these findings show that proper people management is essential for business. Not only does it increase productivity, it will also save you time, money, and effort.

“The right HR software can be used as a tool to create a better connection between yourself and your employees. It helps to create a healthy working environment, with highly motivated staff who are honest about the time off that they need.

“Most importantly, it speeds up and streamlines the people management process, saving you time and allowing you to concentrate on what you do best – running your business.”


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