30% 'go to work despite illness'

19 Jan 2012

A significant amount of people drag themselves in to work if they are ill because they are afraid they will be sacked otherwise, according to a survey.

Nuffield Health, a charitable body, interviewed 1,600 workers and found almost a third (30%) force themselves to go to work despite being sick, with redundancy fears being fed by the dire position of the economy.

Of the 30%, half say they would do so even if they had a contagious illness, threatening the health of other workers.

The survey also discovered that young people are the most likely to be at work while sick, especially those with retail jobs.

Nuffield Health's Marcus Powell said: "Employees going into work sick costs business dearly: up to £15 billion a year. Our research shows the economic downturn has made people more likely to go into work sick, often because they fear losing their job.

"This is bad for business. The corporate world knows that staff well-being directly affects their profits. That is why more and more businesses are providing good clinical and fitness experts for their workers."

Copyright Press Association 2012



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