Sick days are costing the UK economy billions of pounds every year, it has been suggested.
Figures from a study conducted by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Pfizer found that the UK lost £17 billion due to absence in 2009.
The groups' Absence and Workplace Health Survey found that employees took an average of 6.4 days of leave last year.
However, public sector workers appeared to take more time off work due to illness, with an average of 8.3 days.
The private sector averaged out at 5.8 days, 43 per cent lower than the public workers.
Katja Hall, CBI director of employment policy, commented: "The rate of employee absence has come down, but it still costs the economy billions of pounds a year.
"If absence levels across the board could be reduced by ten per cent, the economy would see annual savings of just under £1.7 billion."