Britain: 3 million people on sick leave in the first week of 2022

Employee absences increased by 18%

virus omicron, absences, Britain, workers, pandemic

The rapid spread of Omicron has dramatically increased the number of absences from work in the UK in the first week of 2022, according to an analysis conducted for Bloomberg.

Employee absences increased by 18% to 1,6 million a week from January 3 to January 9, compared to the same period in 2021, according to data compiled by GoodShape. In all, an estimated 3,1 million Britons were infected last week, despite the fact that a holiday on January 3 for the new year meant four days of work for Britons that week.

omicron effect omicron, absences, Britain, workers, pandemic

The number of absences at the beginning of the new year is a first indication of the impact of the spread of Omicron dominating the British economy.

According to GoodShape estimates, the wave of infections cost Β 1,3 billion in the UK.

At the peak of the Omicron mutation wave, on January 4, 218.724 cases were reported in the country Covid-19.

Absences among civil servants increased by 26% in the first week of January compared to a year earlier, which is the largest increase in a number of labor market sectors. Absences in the health sector reached 562.000. According to Chris Hopson, head of NHS Providers, the current situation poses risks to patient safety, the quality of health services and the good health of staff.

According to the Ministry of Education, 8,8% of the staff were absent from schools. At least 585 former teachers have returned to schools to fill the gaps.

More than half of the absent workers are absent from work due to infections, including Covid-19 and only 12% are absent for non-medical reasons. Last year these percentages were almost equal.

Source: Bloomberg,