The dangers of presenteeism

A 2012 report from Nuffield Health says economic fears are forcing one third of staff into work when sick.

The study of 1,600, found that 30 % of workers are now more inclined to go to work sick as a result of the current economic climate. Around half of those choosing to turn up for duty while sick said the most important factor in their decision was job security. 72% went into work in 2011 while sick.53% went into work with a contagious illness such as the flu or a cold.

Marcus Powell of Nuffield Health says, ‘Employees going into work sick costs business dearly - up to £15billion a year. This is bad for business. The corporate world knows that staff wellbeing directly affects their profits.”

The age group most likely to go into work sick are those between 16 and 24 – 85 % went into work sick and 48 were more likely to go into work sick because of the economic downturn.

The income group most likely to go into work sick is those earning below £20,000 followed by those earning between £21,000 and £30,000 and those earning between £31,000 and £50,000.

Dr Andy Jones at Nuffield Health says, “ Effective health and wellbeing is about helping people to make the choices to stay physically and mentally fit. Presenteeism means those who are ill go into work sick, possibly infecting others. Any doctor would advise workers to stay at home and rest if they are unwell.”

 Women were slightly more likely than men to go into work sick, while those sectors feeling the most pressure to go into work sick are the retail industry, followed by manufacturing and then education.

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The dangers of presenteeism
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