New research from the British Heart Foundation has made for some astonishing statistics this week – nearly 650,000 employees call in sick each week.
This figure translates to around 2% of the UK workforce being absent through illness at some point every week. Sickness is estimated to cost the UK economy £100 billion per year.
The British Heart Foundation’s research from its Health at Work programme reveals that the public and defence sectors have the highest level of absenteeism with over 50,000 people phoning in sick in a typical week. This is three times higher the level reported in primary industries such as farming.
The study also found that many people’s ill health limited their ability to do their job properly, even when they are able to make it into work. 44% of the respondents who reported a health problem lasting more than a year – this figure is around eight million employees in the UK – said that they could not fully perform their work duties. This also includes 58% of diabetes sufferers and 38% of people living with heart and circulation conditions.