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Workers taking fewer sick days

By: David Howells
05 May 2011

Reports suggest that British workers are taking fewer sick days than the figures for three years ago.

The figures, published in the EEF/Westfield Health 2011 sickness absence survey, showed that British companies saw a steady decline in the number of sick days taken by its staff, including those with driving jobs.

The statistics showed that the number of sick days fell from an average of 6.7 days off per year in 2007 to five in 2010.

The study of in 454 companies also suggested that in 2011, 45 per cent of employees didn't take any time off work through sickness whatsoever; and that the companies reporting long-term sickness from any of their employees fell by seven per cent.

Jill Davies, chief executive of health insurance provider, Westfield Health told Small Business what the results meant: "The workforce in an employers most valuable asset and the falling sickness absence rates show that the right steps are being taken to continue this positive trend - but there is still plenty to be done."

Where specific ailments are concerned, the study found that back pain and muscular problems remained the biggest source of short-term sickness absence, and that two-thirds of participants were hitting their sickness targets.

Jim Davison, regional director for EEF also spoke out, telling the Harrogate Advertiser: "In particular, it is striking that the companies who have pro-actively contacted their GPs to discuss adjusting people's workplace arrangements have seen the highest level of response."

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