Economic inactivity caused by long-term sickness could increase by a further 140,000 by the end of 2023, according to Broadstone.
The number of people leaving the workforce due to long-term illness increased by 5 per cent in the 12 months ending in October 2022, according to an analysis of government data from Broadstone.
If this rate holds up until December 2023, it could result in 140,000 more people becoming economically inactive due to long-term illnesses, bringing the total to 2.6 million.
Around 70,000 more people would leave the workforce, according to even the most optimistic prediction based on a halving of the growth rate.
If the present 18 per cent annual growth rate continues, the 7.19 million-person NHS waiting list could increase by another 1.2 million people and reach 8.4 million by the end of 2023.
Broadstone head of health & protection says Brett Hill: “The NHS crisis looks set to be the story of 2023. Emergency treatment is incredibly strained, waiting lists have soared past 7 million and access to GPs is diminishing.
“The strain in the NHS and its knock-on impact on employment indicates precisely why it is so pivotal that businesses proactively take steps to help their employees. Private healthcare and dental options for staff will be increasingly important as it becomes harder to access treatment. Without investing in these benefits, businesses face a growing retention problem as staff exit the workforce because of un-treated illnesses and injuries.”