Absenteeism: A major challenge for companies

Short-term absences are increasing and make up a significant expense for companies, which have to pay 80% of an absent employee’s salary during the first 30 days of absence.  The average number of days of absence per year is estimated at 8.3 days per employee, according to a study by the Promotion Santé Suisse.  These absences can represent up to 500,000 francs worth of costs for a company of sixty employees.
To remedy this situation, Swiss Risk & Care is strengthening its Care Management offering with Preventio a solution designed to manage absences. The first objective is to better qualify the absence to organise, as soon as possible, the return of an insured employee who is ill or has suffered an accident. This new tool complements the existing management service for absences and claims and provides better support for HR departments in managing absenteeism before the intervention of an insurance company.  
Approximately 50% of absences are short term and lie within the waiting period of daily insurance benefits.  They are therefore not covered for companies.  However, short-term absences inevitably generate long-term absences, with an impact on insurance premiums and return policies.  At a more long-term scale, though an insured person has a 90% chance of returning to work within the first 60 days of absence, this figure plummets to 5% as of the second year.  Something to think about.


Indirect costs

Costs that are not identifiable as being directly related to the completion of the action.

Care management

A term for customised programmes for employee health management.


The share of wages to be paid by a company during the first 30 days of absence.

Indirect costs are three to five times higher than direct costs

Consider the financial challenge for companies, for example.  Direct costs, such as payment to the absent employee and his or her replacement, are obvious, but what about indirect costs, hidden below the tip of the iceberg?  They are three to five times higher than the first ones!  They range from productivity losses to late deliveries, and include demoralisation and team fatigue. Clearly, they are a key issue.

Preventio is intended to support companies on a case by case basis, and to support, when necessary, workers facing sensitive personal situations. By making available quality human and technical means to insured companies, Preventio aims to ensure rigorous monitoring and proactive outreach during waiting periods.  Its simple operation allows for quick action, for maximum protection for both the employee and the company beginning on the first day of absence


How does Preventio work?

With this tool, Swiss Risk & Care seeks to become the mediator between the employer and the employee, to guarantee the best solution for both parties. Beginning with the employer’s choosing Preventio, contact is made with the employees to correctly define this new role within the company and its functions. A correct understanding of issues allows for the success of subsequent interventions. The process is then deployed and takes action after each absence from the company. Personalised support is established with the absent employee and is done through different means: phone contacts, courtesy visits, second opinions, or work readjustment support. The phone call allows for contact to be made and to evaluate the absence. It identifies sensitive situations whenever possible and more complex possibilities, including doubtful cases. The so-called courtesy visit is organised at the employee's home. What is it for? Connecting with the insured employee and estimating the time he or she will be incapable of working, while ensuring that no outside factors in his or her health status is behind that incapacity (conflicts with the employer, organisational problems, etc.). The employee’s motivation to return to work is also evaluated.
Throughout this process, between experts of Swiss Risk & Care and the absent employee, permanent contact is maintained with the employer to keep it informed of the actions to be taken. Activity reports are written after each contact with the employee while the confidentiality of exchanges is guaranteed, particularly for medical examinations. With full knowledge, the employer, with the support of Swiss Risk & Care, may request that a medical visit be organised.

Human and technical means for business needs

What about the human means deployed?  The company is supported throughout the process by a single contact: a qualified and experienced Care Manager specialised in offering assistance to employees and absence management.  In connection with Caredesk Absences & Claims managers, and in daily contact with employees, they have an overarching vision of the situation.  By ensuring detailed monitoring and using their negotiation skills, they work hand in hand with HR Departments of companies involved in an absentee situation, in full respect of the laws in effect.
As for technical means, they are conceived to be as efficient as possible, so as to provide an overall approach for companies’ HR Departments. A specific tool dedicated to absence management, based on clearly defined internal processes, including particular forms and predefined reporting tools, is made available to businesses.  Specially developed by Swiss Risk & Care for Preventio, it offers secure storage space to protect the confidential information of policyholders, but also to provide customised analyses.

An innovative solution for a comprehensive service

Quick responses, processes that rigorously prioritise human contact, a neutral and independent interface for employees, organisation with the insurance company, and the option of legal support: Preventio provides a broad range of benefits. But what does this tool do differently from other interfaces available on the market?
Neutral and independent, Preventio is capable of supporting employers – by relieving them of the administrative elements of incidents and absence management – as well as employees who feel that their managers have left them in good hands. Its systematic approach allows for fair treatment of employees from the same company, and the "all inclusive" formula, including medical supervision, provides the Care Manager with all the necessary tools to better assess the employee’s situation, on a case-by-case basis. Outcome-based billing, based on the savings obtained from lower absenteeism after implementing Preventio, is the final effective argument for the company, which is sure to take no financial risk.



3.7 %

Rate of absenteeism in Switzerland, 2014 Figures (Source: OFS)

2.8Rate of absenteeism in Switzerland due to accident or illness, 2014 Figures (Source: OFS)


The direct impact of absenteeism on the economy in Switzerland in billions of francs (Source: SECO)

4-5 %

Direct costs to a company payroll (Source: SECO)


Average number of days of absence per employee per year (Source: OFS)
Clément Hanoy
Marketing & Business Development Director
Article published in september 2015