‘Sickies’ have become an endemic part of working life, according to a study by health benefits provider HSA, and specialist magazine Employee Benefits.
Their annual healthcare survey found 20% of the 431 employers polled claimed staff took time off work in the form of sick leave, and viewed this as a company benefit.
Individuals were most likely to take a sickie if they worked for a company employing between 501 and 1,000 employees, but were least likely to if they worked for one with between 5,001 and 10,000 staff.
The biggest cause of sickness absence in the workplace was found to be minor ailments such as colds and flu, followed by stress.
“With factors such as sickies, stress and work-life balance all appearing as key factors for sickness absence in our survey, it is clear that it is no longer just the physical health of employees that companies have to consider, but also their psychological health, and all-round wellbeing,” said Suzanne Clarkson, head of corporate marketing at HSA.