Employers can improve the number of people taking absences from work by ensuring that their staff are motivated and that they have a clear picture of the company’s strategy for success.

That is according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), which supports and represents the recruitment industry.

The REC has suggested that motivation problems can occur in businesses when employees are in a position that is not suited to their skills or when the employer has recruited the wrong person for the job.

Commenting on strategies that HR departments and companies could employ to motivate their staff, Anne Fairweather, head of public policy at the REC, said: "Involving and making sure that staff understand your survival strategy and how you expect to succeed is a good way to keep staff motivated."

Ms Fairweather went on to explain that employers could also look to move an unmotivated employee to another department within a business.

She suggested in some companies the problem could be related to "an issue with line management", which would mean firms would be wise to look at their HR strategy.

Research by business communications software company Avaya has revealed that employee absence could be costing the country’s small and medium sized businesses up to £25,000 a year.