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Would you go to work ill?

16th October, 2018

The continuing stigma around being absent from work due to illness has meant nearly half of UK employees did not take a single day off sick in 2017. The research from Canada Life has also indicated that up to 28 million employees are likely to be going into work ill every year.

Over half said that they believed being slightly unwell would not warrant a day off, and a quarter blamed a backlog of work. One in 10 even said that being absent through illness would jeopardise their job security. One in five said they did not want to appear weak to others. Nearly the same number said it might be considered lazy or inconsiderate by their peers.

Experts are calling for employers to encourage more flexible working. One in 10 employees believed this would improve their physical and mental health, and are asking for more support and discussion around wellbeing.

A spokesperson for Canada Life has suggested that attitudes toward work absences are a vicious circle that must be broken. They have asked for more to be done to reduce the stigma attached and for employers to provide more preventative and proactive measures to improve absence management.

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