Nine out of ten UK workers failing to take sick leave

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A survey by National Accident Helpline has revealed some worrying statistics about the UK’s working population and their tendency to work when unwell. 89 percent of British workers in a new survey admitted to dragging themselves out of their sickbeds to go to work, with over half (53 percent) having taken no sick days in the last six months.

Reasons for working when ill included money worries, pressure from colleagues and pressure from the boss. Rather surprisingly well over one in ten workers had been threatened with disciplinary measures as a result of taking sick leave.

National Accident Helpline’s marketing director Beth Powell expressed concern at some of the statistics revealed in the survey, noting the negative effects of working when ill.

“It’s dismaying to discover that nine out of ten people are going to work when they’re feeling unwell. We know that working when ill or injured can have serious implications for recovery. This is why we recommend making a full recovery before returning to work,” Powell concluded.

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  1. I appreciate there may be instances of unwell people going to work but to describe this as “failure to take sick leave” is ludicrous. And 53% failed to take sick leave in six months! Wow! I took no sick leave in years and I woerked when I might have indulged in self pity.

    There are attitude problems in all this and having a zest for life or for work does not fit well with being sick. As an employer I am not in favour of people taking ‘sickies’. We do not pay people other than statutory sick leave and this is very good for everyone’s health. Of course there are times when people rewally are unwell – me included. On those occasions it really is necessary to stay at home or take to your bed. Going to work when genuinely ill may not be a good idea. However, there is something back to front in the way this survey is presenting its findings.

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