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Sickness takes out a third of the workforce over the past quarter finds Adecco

Sickness takes out a third of the workforce over the past quarter finds Adecco  

Almost a third (30%) of the UK workforce has taken a day off sick over the past quarter according to research from Adecco, with almost one in ten workers (9%) taking five days or more.

The research found that men battle through more than women – three quarters of men (74%) haven’t taken any days off sick compared to 67% of women.

And surprisingly, the older the worker, the less chance of taking days off sick.

16-24 year olds – just 57% haven’t taken a sick day over the past quarter 

25-34 year olds – 58% haven’t taken a sick day over the past quarter 

35-44 year olds – 67% haven’t taken a sick day over the past quarter 

45-54 year olds – 73% haven’t taken a sick day over the past quarter 

55 year olds plus – 86% haven’t taken a sick day over the past quarter 

The research also revealed huge regional differences. Northern grit is revealed by the finding that 80% of those in the North West haven’t taken a sick day over the past quarter, compared to just 65% of those in London.

The research also showed huge differences across industry sectors. Over three quarters of those in finance didn’t take any sick days compared to less than half (48%) of those in HR. The legal sector is the industry most likely to have employees off for more than 5 days: nearly a fifth were off for more than 5 days against an average of just 8%.

Unsurprisingly, business owners were most likely to come in every day: 86% didn’t take any sick days, compared to just 55% of graduates.

Those who did take sick leave were most likely to take it off because off the flu or a cold (40%), norovirus (14%), stress (14%), and 2% for a job interview.  Flu appears to be most common in Wales, with over half (54%) of those sick in Wales citing it as their reason for absence, compared to just a quarter (24%) of those in the East of the country.  1% cited hangovers as their excuse. 

According to Steven Kirkpatrick, Managing Director at Adecco:“The findings from the survey show that sickness is a significant issue for UK employers. Of those off sick, the majority (40%) were off suffering from cold and flu. However,  this figure is down 12% on Q4 2012, perhaps a surprise given you would normally associate cold and flu with winter months. Those complaining of the norovirus dropped in Q1 of this year, whilst the number of people taking a

duvet day nearly doubled from last quarter, with perhaps the winter blues taking its toll.”

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