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Sick days on the wane for British workers

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Fears over job security mans that 60% of British workers now trudge into work even when sick or suffering a cold or flu, a new report has found.

Six out of 10 workers said they didn’t take a single day off from work due to a cold or flu during 2012 and the average worker was struck down with an average of two such illnesses.

Research commissioned by Fisherman’s Friend also found that the average amount of time taken off by workers for such ailments was less than 1.4 days in 2012, compared with an average of two days the previous year, and more than double that number (four days) just four years ago.

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The further fall in absenteeism is estimated to have shaved an extra £1.35 billion off the cost of winter ailments to the UK economy through lost working hours, with time off for colds and flu now leaving employers with a bill of £3.26 billion a year.

That compares with an estimated cost of £9 billion four years ago.

Company spokesman, Rob Metcalfe, said: “During more auspicious times, people appear much more confident to call in sick and rest up until they get better. But when people fear for their jobs, they are much more determined to show their dedication to the cause, even when ill.”

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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