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Presenteeism rife among UK workforce: Canada Life

Presenteeism rife among UK workforce: Canada Life

New research from Canada Life suggests that presenteeism remains an issue for the UK workforce, with nine in 10 employee respondents having gone to work when ill.

The figure for 2015 is virtually unchanged from the findings of the firm’s 2014 study on the topic, when the figure was 89 per cent.

The survey, involving 1,006 full and part-time employees, also found that presenteeism is most commonly driven by high workloads, with more than one in four employees feeling their workload is too great to call in sick.

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Meanwhile, 21 per cent of the sample cited concerns over the financial implications of calling in sick and 17 per cent said they felt guilty for taking time off.

A CIPD survey of 1,000 working adults, which found that more than one in five employees feel less secure in their job as a result of the UK’s vote to leave the EU, does not bode well for the health and wellbeing of the UK workforce, according to the firm.

Paul Avis, marketing director of Canada Life Group, said: “The vote to leave the EU has thrown everything into a state of flux, so it is of little surprise that people are now more concerned about job security and more likely to come into the office even if they are unwell.

He added: “It is concerning that stress and mental health issues remain so overlooked, particularly as our research shows this type of illness is more common among employees than you might expect. As with physical illness, failing to tackle mental health problems can be hugely damaging not only to the individual, but to the wider business as well.”

William Annison, employee benefits consultant at Derbyshire-based HWWA Consulting, said: “I think a lot of employers will work no matter what happens and many of them expect their workers to do so."