The Government is missing out on savings of around €55m a year due to its failure to tackle workplace absenteeism.
That's the message from the Fit for Work Coalition, which wants a national programme for early intervention in workplace absence.
The coalition of healthcare professionals, employers' groups and trade unions want to improve the outcomes for people with musculoskeletal disorders.
Around 80% of the population will suffer from MSDs at some point, and every year, seven million working days are lost due to conditions including arthritis and back pain.
"If people with musculoskeletal diseases do not get the support that enables them to continue to work, the risk is that they drop out of the workforce - [there's] a very high risk of that," Dr Don Thornhill, chair of the Fit for Work Coalition and of the National Competitiveness Council, said.
"This costs the Exchequer money - about €275m in sickness benefits. People and their families are also less well off."
"The irony is that very often these people are experienced employees. They're often very highly productive."