Welcome to the first of a continuous series highlighting what the e-days team consider to be the top stories in the latest HR news. As absence management is our speciality, the focus will be placed upon workplace absence and the management of it.

Click on the links to discover more on the stories from various sources around the web.

One organisation in three has no plans to deal with Olympics disruption

40% of companies are expecting issues with staff absence, yet one-third have no plans whatsoever to deal with staff absence and other disruptions. Those who are taking steps include measures such as increased flexible working and temporary staff.

2012 employment law changes: 6 things employers need to know

Maternity, paternity, adoption and sick pay increase. The Government has confirmed that the standard rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay will increase from £128.73 to £135.45 per week from 1 April 2012. Statutory sick pay will increase from £81.60 to £85.85 per week from 6 April 2012.

Presenteeism figures increase due to downturn, finds Nuffield Health

A study of 1,600 employees found 30% of staff are now more inclined to go to work sick as a result of the current economic climate. The age group most likely to go into work sick are those aged between 16 and 24 and it’s most common in the retail sector.

UK employees amongst most stressed in the world, global survey of 60,000 reveals

A four year study found that workplace stress has risen by 10% since 2008 and that the UK is amongst those most highly affected. Having such high stress levels is known to decrease productivity and increase absenteeism.