As reported by Radio Station Newstalk, staff who smoke cost companies thousands of euro more to employ. That is according to new research featured in the British Medical Journal. It shows that an average employee who smokes costs around €4,600 more a year than a non-smoker due to time off, smoking breaks and healthcare costs.
Smokers cost employers
The research has been published online by US researchers in the Tobacco Control journal and found that several factors result in a greater cost to the employer for having a smoker on staff. Previous studies have found that smoking by employees costs businesses money because of productivity losses and medical expenditures. Now a team of researchers from the College of Public Health at the Ohio State University set out to calculate a more precise excess financial cost for private employers to have an employee who smokes compared to a non-smoking member of staff.
The researchers reviewed and analysed previous studies on the subject to estimate certain discrete costs associated with smoking employees. They then developed a cost estimation approach that estimates the total of such costs for employers and examined absenteeism, presenteesim (lower productivity while working because of nicotine addiction), smoking breaks, healthcare costs and pension benefits for smokers.
Calculations showed that low productivity due to excess absenteeism costs employers on average €400 a year per smoking employee, smoking breaks cost €2,300 and excess healthcare came in at €1,600