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Sick leave: UK workers feel guilty about taking days off

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Feeling under the weather but still coming in to work? You're not alone, as new research reveals that the majority of UK employees feel guilty about calling in sick.

UK employees would rather come in to work ill than take a day off, as close to 70% of employees admit they feel guilty about sick days.

A survey by CV-Library has revealed that 68.3% of employees feel bad about not coming in to work, while over two thirds (67.5%) go into work when they’re unwell. The average employee only takes between one or two sick days per year (66.4%).

The study, which looked at responses from over 1,300 UK workers, revealed that 86.5% of employees feel they are less productive when they come in sick, with 83.8% going as far as to say it’s unbeneficial to business to have ill staff in the office.

Alison Dodd, managing director at Moorepay said: “A feeling of guilt should not be driving unwell employees into work when they are genuinely ill. This type of workplace culture, where staff feel obliged to work even if they are sick, benefits neither employees or employers.”

Over a third of employees admitted that their managers often put pressure on them to return to work early. A further 44.7% said that their employers question their illnesses while they’re still on sick leave.

The survey also revealed that just over half (55.9%) of companies offer sick pay, while 94.3% believed that all businesses should continue to pay their employees when they’re off sick.

Dodd added: “What’s important when it comes to illness is that there is trust between employer and employee. Companies must deal with sickness absence in fair, consistent and sympathetic way, recognising each case on an individual basis and providing support as and when required.”

 

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