There is a growing awareness within organisations of the significance of “green” issues. This paper aims to examine the impact of a public sector organisation's sustainable transport policies on the sickness absence levels of its employees. It focuses on those policies (such as workplace travel plans) which include methods of increasing the use of public transport for the journey to work.
This is an exploratory study, using a quantitative methodology, which analyzes data from a survey of a sample of employees within a large public sector organisation.
The key finding is that sickness absence levels are higher among employees who use public transport to travel to work. A profile of public transport user characteristics most associated with higher absence levels is offered. Moves to act “green” by encouraging greater use of public transport may unintentionally have an adverse effect on sickness absence levels.
This is a study of a sample of employees within a large public sector organisation. The size and character of the sample were restricted by organisational constraints. The results are indicative of a potential area of concern which needs wider investigation.
HR practitioners need to be more closely involved in workplace travel plans and sickness absence variations between different modes of travel to work require careful monitoring.
These results suggest a link between the use of public transport for the journey to work and above average sickness absence levels which may have significant implications for the implementation of workplace travel plans.
Richbell, S. and Minchin, L. (2012), "Going green: The impact of workplace travel plans on sickness absence in the public sector", Personnel Review, Vol. 41 No. 1, pp. 23-40. https://doi.org/10.1108/00483481211189929Download as .RIS
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