Employees scared to call in sick

Most workers are too worried about their jobs to call in sick, despite renewed fears of a swine flu epidemic.

More than 50 per cent of employees say they are working through illnesses, with a fifth fearing they wont be believed unless their sickness has been witnessed at work, a survey from healthcare firm Simplyhealth finds.

Raman Sankaran of Simplyhealth says: ‘Today’s competitive and pressured working environment means that some people find it difficult to speak up about an illness or take time off.’

According to the survey, staff in the retail, leisure and catering industries are most reluctant to call in sick, with nearly 60 per cent having taken no time off during the past year. Employees in the financial services sector are most likely to take sick days, with only a quarter having taken no time off in the same period.

Of the 1,031 workers polled, 43 per cent of employees say they have not taken a sick day in the past 12 months, compared to 36 per cent last year.

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