Dental visits account for a significant proportion of employee absence with 43% of the UK companies implementing systems to allow staff to take paid time off work to visit their dentist.
Health insurance company Bupa estimates that dental appointments take an average of 30 minutes in the dental surgery, but take three hours away from the office.
Considering it is advised to make a twice yearly visit to the dentist, the cost to a city company of 1,000 employees would be around £320,000.
Helping employees proactively manage their work schedule, family and health is considered a corporate imperative, however the high cost of absenteeism hurts organisations even more when other costs, such as lost productivity, morale and temporary staff labour costs, are considered.
Responding to the rise in the number of staff taking time off to visit the dentist, Bow Lane Dental Group based in the City of London recommends companies review their current health arrangements and explore ways to meet both employee and employee requirements.
The dental group is calling on employers to take urgent steps to make sure the cost of employees visiting the dentist ceases to negatively impact on businesses, and to introduce plans to encourage new relationships with city practices to be introduced.
Why should companies consider dental provisions for their staff?
Employers are increasingly concerned about the impact of unscheduled absenteeism, with data revealing that nearly one in eight managers in the UK has a problem trusting their staff when it comes to taking time off to visit the dentist.
However, the research has also indicated that enlightened employers are increasingly offering programmes to help employees manage appointments which take them away from work.
Clinical director of the Bow Lane Dental Group, Dr James Goolnik, who was voted the most influential person in dentistry and is past-president of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, has worked exclusively in the City since 1995.
Dr Goolnik is keen to explore models with city firms where employers and employees are clearly out of sync over the issue of dental care and absenteeism.
Organisations keen to reduce their employer absenteeism have a range of options available. Dr Goolnik suggests companies could consider working with a local city based practice group which will make it both time and cost effective for their staff.
Instead of visiting a dentist close to their home – which could be up to an hour and a half away from their work – employees would be able to see a dental professional who is based nearby. This reduces the need to take time off and results in less disruption to the working day, enabling management teams to identify and plan for upcoming staff absence.
He also suggests that the firms talk to a local dental practice and explore the potential to ring fence early morning or after hours' appointments with a dental practice close to their offices.
For more information about the multi award winning Bow Lane Dental Group visit www.bowlanedental.com or telephone 020 7236 3600 to arrange a discussion with Dr Goolnik about corporate arrangements for employees.