If you run a growing business, the effects of absence are relatively easy to measure in pounds and pence. However, the effects of presenteeism – defined as reduced productivity when employees come to work and are not fully engaged, or perform at lower levels, as a result of ill health – are hard to estimate. The Centre for Mental Health claims that it costs the UK economy £15.1bn each year, compared to just over half that for sickness absence. Indeed, a recent report showed that sickness absence has fallen to less than 3% in Britain, with employees taking just an average of six days off sick last year, or 2.8% of working time. In 2007, that figure reached 3.6%. Are we striking the right balance? Full story here.