Norwich Union Healthcare launches absence management solution to support companies in tackling £13.4 billion absenteeism

Article date: 31 August 2007

With staff absence high on the agenda for UK companies, Norwich Union Healthcare launches Absence Solutions, a complete absence management solution that allows companies to better understand and manage absence through better data capture and more effective reporting methods, and aid and speed employees return to work. 

With sickness absence costing the British economy an estimated £13.4 billion per year1, the government's "Health, Work and Well-being" strategy aims to improve the occupational health of the British workforce in partnership, and with the full commitment of, employers. However, whilst many companies claim to have an absence management strategy in place, often this is merely a process for reporting absence rather than monitoring trends, tackling issues and taking the steps to improve employee health and well-being.

Launching on 3 September 2007, Norwich Union Healthcare's Absence Solutions provides companies with a tailored package to meet their absence management needs and dovetail with their existing absence management strategy. Absence Solutions is an accurate recording and reporting telephone-based system which can work alongside the medical intervention services offered by Norwich Union Occupational Health.  The framework comprises a choice of modules, outlined below, which can work in isolation or together to form a cohesive solution:

  • Absence Manager
    Employers can choose from either an automated telephone and web-based service, or a health adviser based telephone service to record the incidence of absence of employees and provide tailored reporting to employers to enable effective tracking and management.
  • Absence Rehabilitation
    Clinically trained nurses direct employees through to appropriate services as soon as a problem arises. Rehabilitation services can provide medical advice and treatment, counselling for stress related conditions or health and wellbeing plans for employees.  
  • Audit and Consultancy
    Audit and Consultancy - careful monitoring of the reasons for absence with a company may identify the need for more comprehensive analysis of occupational health needs.  Norwich Union Occupational Health Consultants are available to undertake audits of health hazards and risks and provide advice and guidance on the steps an organisation should take to ensure the protection of its workforce.

Absence Solutions also includes a full, online reporting system that allows analysis of absence trends of the company, as well as specific trends within departments, teams, shifts and employees.

Mark Noble, director of group life & healthcare, comments: "As the cost of employee absence increases, having a consistent and effective absence management strategy has become paramount for companies - whatever their size or industry. Providing an integrated absence management solution, Absence Solutions will enable companies to have not only an accurate recording and reporting system but also a complete end-to-end process by using medical intervention as early as possible. What's more it provides the employee with the peace-of-mind that should they become ill and unable to work, the provision is in place to help them to make a full and speedy recovery."

To find out more about Absence Solutions and to trial the automated system visit or call the Absence Solutions team on 01903 574597. Calls maybe monitored and/or recorded.


1 CBI/AXA Absence and labour turnover survey 2007

Norwich Union Press Office contact:
Emma Broadbent: 01904 452791 / 07800 692935

Notes to editors:

About Norwich Union Healthcare
Norwich Union Healthcare was founded in 1990 as the healthcare arm of Norwich Union and now provides a range of income protection and private medical insurance products that cover over 1,000,000 lives. It is one of the largest providers of income protection and private medical insurance in the UK.

Norwich Union Occupation Health, a sister company of Norwich Union Healthcare, provides Occupational Health Solutions services to a wide range of industry sectors. By utilising their large fleet of purpose built mobile clinics and approved medical centres, staffed by a team of experienced Occupational Physicians, nursing staff and health advisers, the services are designed to meet the individual needs of clients.

Norwich Union Healthcare is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and is a member of the Association of British Insurers and the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Norwich Union's news releases and a selection of images are available from Aviva's internet press centre at

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