Informa Markets

Author Bio ▼

Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
July 24, 2015

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

Worker health threatened by ‘presenteeism’

Almost half of UK workers went into work in the last year despite being ill leading to a negative impact on workers’ health, according to research by One4all Rewards.

The Health in the Workplace Report revealed that in a study of 2,000 full and part-time UK workers 48 per cent went into work when they were ill and 40 per cent hadn’t taken a day off for illness in the last year.

This epidemic of ‘presenteeism’ – defined as the practice of being present at one’s place of work for more hours than is required, especially as a manifestation of insecurity about one’s job – is having a negative impact on workers’ heath says the research.

Work is a regular cause of stress for many people.  Just 17% of people say they find it easy to switch off and forget about their work at the end of the day and over one in five workers (22%) report regularly feeling high degrees of work-related stress.

In some cases is it also the direct cause of illness, with 11% of people surveyed saying that they have been unwell as a result of their jobs in the last year.

Declan Byrne, managing director of One4all Rewards, said that employers wishing to increase productivity and retain staff would have to break this habit.

“Many workers believe that employers don’t care about their health.,” said Declan. “Of those surveyed, 28 per cent said that they feel under pressure from bosses to go into work even when they are ill.

“Therefore, it’s important that businesses take proactive steps to help workers look after their health and wellbeing.

“Those that do are likely to see the results add to their bottom line, with greater productivity, staff retention and the ability to recruit better candidates all shown to be enhanced by company health schemes.”

Read the full Health in the Workplace report on the One4all rewards website.


What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


Related Topics

Notify of

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Vince Butler
Vince Butler
8 years ago

The problem is only going to get worse, much worse as employment laws and benefits are attacked unmercifully. Personal debt and financial commitments in todays world are likely to be as much as cause of presenteeism as any other cause. Consider a workplace that is a “dangerous sh*t-hole” – yes they do really exist in the UK! – Likely no HSE inspections after the savage budget cuts (with even more to come) – Likely no union or safety reps – Likely no unemployment benefits if sacked for complaining or sacked for taking time off sick or leaving to preserve health.… Read more »