A new study has revealed that small business employees take less sick days than those working for larger companies.
The study, by breatheHR, was based on 15,000 sick days taken over in small businesses over the last 12 months. The average number of sick days was found to be 1.2 per employee, in comparison to the 9.1 day average reported by PricewaterhouseCoopers based on a survey of all company sizes in July this year.
It is believed there is a strong ‘work while you’re sick’ culture among small business employees, based on a lack of job security and increased responsibilities in these businesses.
The study found that Tuesday is the most common day for employees to call in sick, accounting for 21.1% of sick days. Absenteeism then reduces throughout the week, with 18.2% of sick days being taken on a Friday.
The five most common reasons for calling in sick are:
1. Colds and flu (38.2%)
2. Stomach aches/food poisoning (29.5%)
3. Headaches/migraines (10.3%)
4. Injuries outside of work (10.2%)
5. Work-related stress (10.1%)
Jonathan Richards, CEO of breatheHR, said “Seeing the data from over 15,000 sick days highlights some really noticeable trends which small business owners are certainly going to find interesting.
“While I was surprised with the alarmingly high number of sick days taken as a result of stress, it is reassuring however that teams within small businesses certainly seem more committed to each other and the business than those in larger organisations, which bodes well for the economic recovery of the country.”