Presenteeism in the workplace: Risk factors and solutions (BPS Learn)

21 September 202211am - 1pm
  • Careers and employment
From £57.20
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Please note, this event runs from 11.30am to 1.30pm, not as advertised above

This interactive webinar highlights the factors that increase the risk of presenteeism, the costs for employees and businesses, and solutions that can help foster a ‘healthier’ sickness absence culture. 

Presenteeism commonly refers to situations where people continue to work while sick. As organisations are under considerable pressure to remain productive and profitable, reducing the cost of sickness absence is a key concern.

Nonetheless, there is evidence that presenteeism is not only more common but considerably more damaging than absenteeism. Technological presenteeism is an increasing concern, where remote workers can feel additional pressure to respond to emails etc. outside their working hours. 

Working during minor illness or via phased return is not necessarily damaging and can even be beneficial for health. Nonetheless, there is growing evidence that presenteeism can impair wellbeing and job performance and potentially threaten the health and safety of others.

Research has highlighted the negative implications of working while sick for mental and physical health and the increased likelihood of sickness absence over the longer term. It can also impair job performance and increase the risk of errors and accidents – a particularly serious risk factor in safety critical jobs. Working while sick could therefore be considered a ‘risk taking’ and ‘self-endangering’ organisational behaviour and managed accordingly.

In this interactive webinar, we will highlight the occupational, organisational and individual difference factors that can increase the risk of presenteeism and the costs for employees and businesses. We will be drawing on our own extensive body of research to identify the prevalence, causes and impact of presenteeism in different occupational groups.

The challenges of measuring and managing presenteeism will also be considered and evidence-informed solutions provided to reduce the incidence of presenteeism and help reduce its damaging effects.

Several key frameworks and tools will be outlined with the potential to enhance knowledge, skills and professional practice in helping organisations recognise and manage the risks of presenteeism and develop more ‘healthy’ sickness absence policies and practices. The importance of a multi-disciplinary approach in managing the risks of presenteeism, where psychologists work alongside human resources, occupational health professionals and managers in organisations, will be emphasised.

Target audience

Presenteeism is a growing concern among businesses of all sizes, across all sectors. Awareness of its wide-ranging implications for employee wellbeing and functioning and organisational success is also increasing, but organisations are largely unaware of what can be done. Assessing presenteeism and establishing the causes and consequences is challenging and guidance is needed on appropriate tools. The need for practical and effective interventions rooted in research evidence is also clear. The target audience for this workshop will be occupational psychologists (practitioner and academic) and anyone who wish to develop or update their knowledge and skills regarding presenteeism that will help organisations develop more effective absence management policies and practices and foster more healthy sickness cultures. It will also be relevant for people working in human resources and in training and development and health and safety roles.

The webinar will be relevant for experienced, mid and early career individuals. No prior knowledge of research and practice in the field of presenteeism is required.

Pre work

Reading resource will be available to participants.

Post webinar materials

Participants will be provided with a report on the topic and slides from the session.


This webinar will be interactive and use various strategies via Slido, polls, quizzes and a Q&A session.

This webinar will be recorded and made available as a recording for everyone who registers.


Learning Outcomes

By the end of this two-hour webinar, delegates will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the prevalence of sickness presenteeism and how it can be defined and assessed
  2. Identify the occupational, organisational and individual risks factors for sickness presenteeism
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the impact of presenteeism on the health and safety of employees and the effective functioning of organisations
  4. Articulate an awareness of the increased risk of presenteeism in remote workers and why this is the case
  5. Identify ways to raise awareness of the implications of presenteeism and how to develop policies and interventions to create a healthier sickness absence culture
  6. Articulate the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach in managing presenteeism in organisations.

Presenter: Professor Gail Kinman CPsychol FBPsS

Professor Gail Kinman is Visiting Professor of Occupational Health Psychology at Birkbeck University of London and Nottingham University. She is a Chartered Psychologist and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and the Academy of Social Sciences.

Gail has published widely in the field of occupational health psychology, with a particular interest in sickness presenteeism, work-life balance and multi-level approaches to building organisational resilience in the ‘helping’ professions.

She has recently been appointed to the Board of the Council for Work and Health and is on the editorial board of several high impact journals such as the International Journal of Stress Management, British Medical Bulletin and Occupational Medicine. She is currently working with several bodies, such as Public Health England, the Society of Occupational Medicine, Education Support and the British Psychological Society to formulate guidelines to help organisations and individuals manage the demands posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.

She has developed and delivered well received training sessions and workshops on various aspects of work-related wellbeing in the private and public sectors. 

Presenter: Dr Christine Grant CPsychol AFBPsS

Dr Christine Grant is Deputy Head of the School of Psychological, Social and Behavioural Sciences at Coventry University, a Chartered and HCPC registered Occupational Psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

As a leading applied researcher in the field of remote e-working, she is an Associate Fellow of the Centre for Healthcare Research at Coventry University and also an Associate Fellow of the Digit Innovation Centre, University of Sussex. Her work explores the psychological impact of technology on remote e-workers work-life balance, job effectiveness and well-being, with a particular interest in developing measures, interventions and coping strategies for employees, managers and organisations. 

She has recently co-edited a book on agile working and well-being and has developed a digital resilience competency framework for a large private sector organisation. Christine has received research funding from the ESPRC and more recently from the Digit Innovation ESRC fund alongside her consultancy work. During the pandemic she contributed to POST the Government scientific body and also as a member of the British Psychological Society’s Covid Crisis ‘Working Differently’ Group.


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Price £96.00 (£ 80.00 + VAT)
Society member £57.20 (£48.00 + VAT)
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Please note:

1. Online bookings will close at 11:30 on 21 September 2022.

2. A Zoom link to join the webinar will be sent to everyone registered one hour before the webinar is due to start.

To register for the webinar you need to sign into your BPS user account or create a new account by clicking the ‘create an account’ button. When signed in, click the ‘register’ button to book onto the workshop.