By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.


Property firms see rise in sick leave - research

Businesses in the real estate sector have seen one of the biggest rises in sick leave over the past year, research suggests.

The Sick Leave Report 2024, conducted by HR systems specialist Access PeopleHR based on analysis of 1,700 businesses, revealed that the average UK firm reported 128 days of sick leave in 2023 - up 6% compared with 120 in 2022, and up 55% since 2019.

Overall, the number of sick leave days taken in the real estate sector, including estate agency, soared by 67% in the past year, from 57 days of sick leave in 2022 to 95 in 2023.


This rise in absence could be partially down to an increase in face-to-face contact between real estate agents and customers, as more viewings in 2021 and 2022 were virtual as a precaution for the pandemic, the report suggests.

The research also suggests that those who are more customer-facing, and less office-based are likely to report the biggest growth in sickness absence, since they are less likely to rely on the ability to work remotely.

Charles Butterworth, managing director of the people division at The Access Group, said: “This new report into the status of sick leave in the UK highlights the importance of a robust HR strategy for businesses when it comes to reducing sick leave. 

“This could involve having clear policies and procedures, offering tangible support to those that appear to be taking excessive sick days and implementing a HR system to provide better absence management.

“This growth of sick leave in the real estate industry could be due to a number of factors, such as experiencing more burnout and long-term sickness since the increased return to office based work in 2023, with the most common industries reporting growths in sick leave being less likely to work remotely - namely those in the arts, real estate and retail industries.”

“Although, a lack of exposure to illness during lockdown and periods of remote working could also be the reason for more people getting sick in 2023 compared to pre-pandemic levels. Regardless, it’s crucial that businesses are monitoring sick leave using HR software to identify recurring problems, take action and determine whether an attendance review is necessary.”

  • Trevor Cooper

    Someone I know working in a commercial property agency regularly takes what she calls "duvet days" without compunction. Does no-one actually WANT to go to work any more?


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up