Almost half (48%) of respondents are unaware of any form of workplace support for sickness absence in their organisation, according to research by Canada Life Group Insurance.
Its survey of 1,006 full-time and part-time employees also found that just 12% of respondents believe employee health and wellbeing is the top priority in their organisation.
The research also found:
- 33% believe that cost efficiency is prioritised above staff health.
- 13% of respondents do not have access to support for sickness absence in their organisation.
- 11% of respondents are aware that their organisation provides access to an employee assistance programme (EAP) that can provide support for sickness absence.
- 20% of respondents would speak to a designated member of staff about their options if they became ill for an extended period of time.
- 20% of respondents have used annual leave when ill to avoid a poor sickness record or so they do not fall foul of their organisation’s sickness absence policy.
- 23% of respondents did not take their full holiday allowance last year.
- 14% of respondents did not use all of their annual leave because of staffing issues, 11% felt guilty or discouraged from taking a holiday, and 34% carried some of their holiday in to the next year.
- 90% of respondents have gone in to work when feeling unwell.
Paul Avis (pictured), marketing director at Canada Life Group Insurance, said: “Annual leave is a key part of establishing a healthy work-life balance, as staff who don’t take breaks are prone to stress, burnout and, ultimately, lower productivity.
“Employers must ensure their organisation has a positive stance to taking time off and reassuring employees they are free to take their full entitlement is key. Failure to do so could result in higher staff turnover and leave businesses at a significant disadvantage in the battle to recruit and retain top talent.”