You asked

I would like to submit a freedom of information request around sickness absence rates in the UK. I have seen a similar data set at the below link, but I am looking for a different time frame:

Please provide data on:

  • Percentage of working hours lost due to sickness absences from workers by month
  • Date range: January 2019 – June 2020
  • How many days does this equate to in total?

We said

Thank you for your request.

Estimates of sickness absence rates in the UK can be produced from the Labour Force Survey (LFS).  The LFS is not designed to produce robust estimates of the percentage of working hours lost due to sickness absence by month, but estimates can be produced for quarterly or annual periods.  The latest published sickness absence statistics can be found in the following article on our website:

This article (and accompanying dataset) contains a variety of sickness absence statistics, including sickness absence rates and number of days lost, presented on an annual basis up to 2018.  If you require similar statistcs for more recent periods these would need to be created as part of our bespoke service. Such a service would fall outside of the Freedom of Information regime and would be subject to legal frameworks, disclosure control, resources and agreement of costs where appropriate. If you would like to enquire about obtaining these estimates, please contact the customer services team of ONS's Social Surveys Division at

Another route would be to access the anonymised LFS datasets at the UK Data Service if you are able to run your own analysis. Data can be downloaded free of charge for non-commercial purposes but if charges are applicable, you will be notified during the ordering process. Details of how to access the data can be found here:

You may be interested to know that we are currently publishing experimental weekly statistics from the LFS on a monthly basis in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.  While not providing robust estimates of labour market conditions, these can help users to understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on a week-by-week basis during the quarter.  The latest data are published on our website, here:

Table 4 of the X07 dataset contains statistics on the number of people who worked fewer hours than usual by reason, including a 'sick or injured' category.