General Insurance Article - National Sickie Day is very much an outlier

Paul Avis, Marketing Director at Canada Life Group Insurance, comments on National Sickie Day:

 “The first Monday in February is typically the day when people are most likely to phone into work sick. This is the result of a combination of factors, such as a drink-heavy weekend following the first payday since Christmas, or people attending job interviews following a re-evaluation of their career path in January.

 “Last year, National Sickie Day saw an estimated 350,000 absences, but for what it’s worth, it’s very much an outlier. Our research shows that over half of the UK population continues to head into the office when they’re feeling unwell, a problem that has serious implications for UK businesses.

 “Presenteeism is entrenched in our society, and people often don’t realise that the need to be “always on” can have repercussions which are often overlooked. People coming into work when they’re ill often means illnesses spread around the office and it can exacerbate the problem, leading to longer-term or more widespread absences.

 “It is vital that employers show that they are serious about supporting their employees. A lot can be achieved with simple measures, such as an Employee Assistance Programme or offering “duvet days” – which allow employees to take a day off without having to give a reason. As an employer, effectively communicating these benefits won’t only benefit your employees’ health, but it will also help prevent an avalanche of sickies for businesses on a day like today.”

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