Staff in smaller firms four times less like to take time off sick

Employees in small companies are four times less likely to take time off sick than workers in large firms, according to a report.

Small businesses, or companies employing less than 250 staff, average just 1.8 sick days per employee over a year, compared with 8.4 days for larger private sector employers and 11.3 days in the public sector.

Four in 10 small employers (43%) also reported no sickness absence in the past year, the research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which represents 200,000 firms, showed.

The FSB said absence could have a damaging effect on small companies.

Sickness absence costs UK businesses about £12bn a year, according to the CBI.

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