News: Sick workers more reluctant to take time off

call in sickWorkers today are so concerned about losing their jobs, they are reluctant to take time off work when they’re sick, according to a new survey by Fisherman’s Friend.

The poll of 2,000 UK adults revealed that, despite suffering from colds and flu twice last year on average, six out of ten workers did not take any time off due to the illnesses.

Those that did take time off last year took less time than they might have done previously. The average amount of time taken off work for colds and flu was less than 1.4 days in 2012, compared with two days in 2011 and an average of four days just four years ago.

While going into work sick may not be good for workers, it seems to be doing something for the economy. Over the past year, an estimated £1.35 billion has been saved by people not taking time off for winter ailments. Lost working hours due to colds and flu currently cost employers £3.26 billion a year, compared to £9 billion in 2008.

Fisherman’s Friend spokesman Rob Metcalfe said: “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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Kasey writes about the latest small business and website news for bOnline. Find Kasey on Google+, or follow bOnline on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+


  1. It makes sense that people who fear for their jobs show up more to try and look dedicated. Often in media (comics, tv shows, movies, etc.) people call in “sick” Ferris Bueller’s Day Off style. In a situation where people need to hold onto their jobs for their kids/family, sick workers would want to prove that they’re too sick to work but can tucker through it anyway. It’s better than taking a personal day and coming off as ambivalent towards the job.

    • I agree, Amanda. In this job market, people are more keen than ever to make a good impression. I’d be interested to know how many small business owners feel they can’t afford to take time off, even when they’re really sick.


  1. says:

    Sick workers more reluctant to take time off…

    Do you go into work when you’re sick? More employees are doing so because they fear for their jobs, according to a new survey….

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