Sick employees trudging into work

Published 24 January 2013
(Photo: Sebastian Smit)

More ill Brits are dragging themselves to work instead of taking days off to rest up at home.

According to the annual British Cold and Flu Survey by Fisherman's Friend, six out of 10 workers said they did not take a single day off work due to a cold or flu in 2012.

This was despite the average British worker experiencing at least two during the year.

The poll of 2,000 adults found that the average amount of time taken off by workers for colds and flus was less than 1.4 days in 2012, compared with an average of two days the previous year, and four days just four years ago.

The result has been a fall in the cost of winter ailments to the UK economy through lost working hours, from £9bn when the first annual survey was conducted in 2008 to £3.26bn last year, the lozenge manufacturer reports.

Fisherman's Friend believes the figures reflect in a growing fear among workers that they will lose their jobs if they take too many days off work for being ill.

"Our annual survey makes fascinating reading as it shows how the average British worker is now increasingly determined to carry on working even when ill," said company spokesman Rob Metcalfe.

"During more auspicious times, people appear much more confident to call in sick and rest
up until they get better.

"But when people fear for their jobs, they are much more determined to show their dedication to the cause, even when ill."

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