Recent research commissioned into employee well-being has found that nearly half of UK workers are putting their job before their health.
The findings, which were published in the Health in the Workplace report by One4all Rewards, revealed that 48% of British workers have gone into work over the last year whilst they were ill and that 2 in 5 have not taken a sick day in the past 12 months.
Additionally, 28% of those surveyed said that leaders have put pressure on them to work – even if they are unwell. Furthermore 23% work through their lunch breaks on a daily basis and 11% say they have been made unwell because of their job.
Indeed, the hope is that the Workplace Report will be able to raise awareness of presenteeism in UK employment today. Presenteeism, which is the act of working longer hours than you are contractually required, was found to be an “epidemic” in the UK and could be costing workplaces £15bn per year, compared to £8bn for absenteeism.
Managing director of One4all Rewards, Declan Byrne said:
“Many workers believe that employers don’t care about their health. Therefore, it’s important that businesses take proactive steps to help workers look after their health and well-being.”
The study reemphasises the importance of strong leadership – particularly in health and social care as leaders need to take the welfare of employees in an emotionally challenging environment extremely seriously.
To ensure that the welfare of staff is a top priority, management need to maintain an open dialogue about health related issues and be suitably trained to diagnose any problems when they arise. Furthermore health sector leaders need to create a culture where missing work is not met with aggressive comments from colleagues.
Those at the top also need to set the right example too. If a senior manager is sick, they should consider taking time to recover as the same rules should apply to everyone.
As the statistics published in The Health in The Workplace Report illustrate, 48% of those surveyed feel under pressure to come into work when they are ill – therefore procedures need to be put in place so that an employee can take a sick day without being judged.
Leaders in the health sector need to prioritise the mental and physical well-being of employees and help create a culture where workers do not feel pressured to work through illnesses which could damage their health.
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