Sick Londoners take more time off work for first time in eight years

PUBLISHED: 13:17 19 November 2015 | UPDATED: 13:17 19 November 2015

Businesswoman having flu

Businesswoman having flu


New research found that workers each took an average of 2.26 days off for minor ailments in the last year

London workers are taking more days off for colds and flus for the first time in eight years, according to new research.

A survey by Fisherman’s Friend found that workers each took an average of 2.26 days off for minor ailments in the last year, up from an eight-year low of 1.05 in 2014, when workers cited fears over job security as the primary motivation for struggling into work even when ill.

Despite the first signs of workers’ greater confidence to call in sick when genuinely ill, the study of more than 2,000 adults also found that a quarter of workers in London claimed they had actually had less time off than last year due to continuing fears over job security, while the number one reason Londoners said they were still reluctant to ask for time off was for fear of being seen to let colleagues down.

Overall, London workers said they had turned up for work on four occasions when they would ideally have taken a day off sick due to genuine illness.

Spokesman Rob Metcalfe said: “Our latest annual Fisherman’s Friend Cold and Flu Survey once again makes for fascinating reading, and shows how the time we take off for minor ailments, colds and flus really does appear to be an accurate barometer of how were are feeling about job security.

“The good news for the economy is that with Brits still taking relatively few days off due to minor ailments, the cost of absenteeism is once again set to remain relatively low – at around £4.53 billion this year – although this is clearly higher than the £2.27 billion low we recorded from the findings of our last study.

“Yet despite our continuing reluctance to take time off, it’s surprising to find that so many of us are unlikely to have the annual flu jab, and it will once again be important for workers to manage their symptoms if they want to soldier on when they do feel under the weather.”

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