Public sector workers ‘less likely to pull sickie’

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Public sector workers 'less likely to pull sickie'Absence management for HR staff in the public sector may be an easier task than for those working for private businesses, it has been suggested.

According to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), public sector employees are less likely to “throw a sickie” but are more inclined to work while they are unwell.

The group’s report The Truth About Sickness Absence has revealed that public sector staff take longer periods away from work, but that they are more likely to work in a stressful or dangerous environment where the risk of injury could be heightened.

Meanwhile, private sector employees are more likely to work for an employer who is “quick to sack” them if they have a genuine health problem, rather than help them to get back to work.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “The truth is we are really a nation of mucus troopers, where workers – particularly those in the public sector – routinely go into work when they are too ill and should be at home.”

He added that this trend has arisen, not because people are afraid of their bosses, but because they are aware of the important role they play in their workplace.

Mr Barber earlier announced that the UK economy remains too frail for deep cuts to be made, but that fighting unemployment would be the best way to reduce the deficit.

Posted by Cameron Thomson



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  1. I’m a private sector worker, but have worked in the public sector time too. From my observations working there, public sector workers get so much time off due to flexi-time, time in lieu and standard holiday allowance, that they probably don’t feel they need the extra “sickie” day, which should really be renamed a “duvet” day in this day and age.

    In most of the private sector, people work such long hours, and weekend work, taking work home with them, often studying at the same time, with no breaks during the day and often not even taking their full holiday allowance, that they need these “duvet” days occassionally! The amount that must be saved by the occassional “duvet day” (when you’re not ill, but just really can’t face it) against the amount of time that could be taken off due to stress if it wasn’t taken, never gets measured!

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