Tesco staff

Tesco loses more money due to staff sickness than any other UK company, according to a report published by online doctor service Dr Morton’s.

The report used data from published reports and accounts as well as absence leave records reported by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

It found Tesco, which has more than 327,000 employees in the UK, spent more than £1.25bn paying staff who were off sick. Lloyds Bank came second to Tesco, losing £915m, despite having a quarter of the number of employees (80,000).

Britain’s other supermarkets also fared badly. Sainsbury’s, third on the list, lost £832m, followed by Asda (fourth) which lost £710m. Morrisons (sixth) lost £518m, the report claimed.

The CIPD data revealed retail averaged 7.4 days lost per year for every colleague, one of the highest sectors, though the financial sector lost even more with an average of 9.4.

John Wilkes, CEO of Dr Morton’s, said the league table demonstrated the cost to employers of people taking time off work was at “crisis point”.

A Tesco spokeswoman said: “We’re not able to comment on speculative data. We recognise colleagues have absence from time to time and our focus is supporting them when this happens.

“We work with colleagues to ensure any impact caused by absence is kept to a minimum, and support leaders in the business to manage absence with a range of policies and training. We also help our colleagues return to and stay in work, including tailored return to work plans.”