How Many Working Days Lost Due to Illness
The next time you hear a UK company complaining that too many staff take time off for illness, remind them that unpaid overtime is also a serious problem but that it offsets money lost by sick leave.
Just how prevalent is work sickness in the UK? How many working days are lost due to illness? And are some SME’s creaking at the seams because of sick pay?
Work sickness affects people in all age groups but the over-50s most. A great deal of this issue depends on the type of work an individual does. For example, our increasingly sedentary lifestyle is more likely to cause chronic back pain. The average Briton spends nearly four hours a day at a computer.
Thatcherism isn’t entirely to blame however, during the late 1970’s and throughout the 1980’s Britain moved substantially from an industry-based economy to a service based economy. In the 1970s, manufacturing accounted for 25% of the economy. In the 21st century this service sector dominates the UK economy, contributing about 77% of GDP. Manufacturing now accounts for 11 percent of the economy.
Therefore, this sedentary lifestyle is unlikely to drop.
Businesses lost more than 8 million working days In 2014 because of sick workers . Almost 4 million of those days were lost by workers aged 50-64. Data provided by the UK Statistics Authority also show a dramatic increase in the number of sick days taken because of back problem since 2014.
The total cost of the missed work days is more than £1 billion.
Well, according to a report by the TUC the problem of unpaid overtime costs UK workers a staggering £33.6bn in 2016 alone. That figure is a hefty amount that companies are making at the expense of workers. So, company boardrooms and Directors can hardly complain that staff are taking time off for sickness, can they?
Work illness is a growing problem in the UK despite overtime statistics showing shameful data. There is no evidence that SME’s experience financial problems because of work sickness levels. However, it is a fact that it is a growing trend and people with sedentary lifestyles are more at risk.
The NHS has started various campaigns to bring awareness to people to improve fitness levels, and posture.