A third (30%) of employees are more likely to go into work ill due to the economic downturn, according to a survey by Nuffield Health.
The Wellbeing at work survey, which polled 1,600 UK workers, also found that the group most likely to go into work ill 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.
Nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents went into work last year while they were sick. More than half (53%) went into work with a contagious illness such as the flu or a cold in the past year.
Women (33%) were slightly more likely than men (27%) to go into work ill because of the economic conditions.
Marcus Powell, managing director of corporate and community fitness at Nuffield Health, said: “Employees going into work sick costs business dearly – up to £15 billion a year.
“The corporate world knows that staff wellbeing directly affects profits. That is why more and more organisations are providing good clinical and fitness experts for their workers.”
Dr Andy Jones, medical director at Nuffield Health, added: “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.”
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