Monday 30 May 2016 5:01 pm

UK employers are plagued by an "absenteeism crisis" costing the British economy £100bn a year

The UK is suffering from an "absenteeism crisis" in the workplace, according to the on-demand hiring platform Catapult.

Small- and medium-sized enterprises are most affected by employee absenteeism, Catapult has said, which includes both "genuine" and "non-genuine" absences taken off work.

UK businesses are losing 6.9 days a year per employee due to the absenteeism trend, while nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of UK firms report non-genuine absence (i.e. pulling a sickie) as their top cause of short-term time off work for non-manual workers, according to research from the CIPD.

Read more: How to stop employees pulling a sickie

The Timeware Workforce Management Study has estimated the cost to the British economy totals £100bn a year.

"The scale of the UK’s absenteeism problem is simply staggering," Oli Johnson, co-founder of Catapult, said.

"British firms are currently losing nearly a week’s worth of productivity from employees and this is having a detrimental effect on their bottom lines.

"As the UK enters the summer period, its absenteeism problem is only likely to be exacerbated, especially with standout sporting events like Euro 2016 and the Olympics, which will further compound the problem of non-genuine employee absences."