68% go to work when ill


More than two thirds (68%) of employee respondents go into work when they are unwell, according to research by CV Library.

Its survey of 1,300 UK employees also found that 68% of respondents feel guilty for taking sick days.

The research also found:

  • 87% of respondents feel much less productive at work when unwell.
  • 34% of respondents are put under pressure by their managers to return to work early when unwell.
  • 84% of respondents feel it is not beneficial for organisations to have staff at work when they are unwell.
  • 84% of respondents believe employees should not go into work when sick.
  • 55% of respondents are not sent home by their employer if they are unwell at work.
  • 48% of respondents are questioned by their employer about their sickness when ill.

Lee Biggins (pictured), founder and managing director at CV Library, said: “Breeding a culture that encourages people to come to work when sick is not beneficial to employees or businesses and if [employees] are clearly ill, they should be advised to go home and recover. This means that they can then return to work, happy, engaged and ready to make a valuable contribution to the business.

“Managers play an important role in reassuring staff that taking time out to recuperate is ok, but it’s clear from our research that the majority of workers feel the pressure from their boss to return to work before they are ready, and this probably stems from the top. While it might be frustrating for businesses to operate on a lower head count, in the long run, it’s better for everyone that poorly employees are not in the office; germs aren’t spread, staff recover more quickly and the hours they do spend at work are much more productive.

“Reassuring staff by offering a small sickness entitlement and then tracking absence throughout the year is a much more efficient way of managing illness and productivity within a business.”