A new survey by the Forum of Private Business suggests small firms are suffering the costs of worker absence.
The FPB found that 71.4 per cent of respondents had been hit, with half stating this cost them up to £2,000.
Nearly a third said staff absence cost them £5,000 or more Ministers will today launch a charter to promote health, work and well-being in the workplace at the Work and Well-Being National Stakeholder Council.
The FPB's representative on the Council, Tim Kind, said: "The Government can't afford to be absent minded when it comes to issues on health and the workplace.
"We welcome the Charter as a framework document because absence in small businesses bears a disproportionate burden upon them.
"Our members want to encourage and support staff to be fit to work and fit in work."
The FPB's survey also showed that a fifth of respondents put some absenteeism down as unauthorised.
The most common tools in managing the issue are restricting paid absences (64.7 per cent), return to work interviews (52.9 per cent) and incentives for good attendance (35.3 per cent).
Mr Kind said he believed the needs of small business must be a priority.