Sick go to work over guilt or pressure

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Two out of three people have gone to work when they were ill, often blaming heavy workloads, guilt or pressure from their boss for not staying at home, according to a study.

A survey of 2,000 workers by AXA PPP Healthcare found that 3% - rising to 12% in London - said their managers had not let them leave early if they had struggled in while feeling unwell.

AXA PPP healthcare’s Dr Steve Iley said: “It’s concerning that people who are genuinely sick are coming into work because of perceived pressure from bosses and workmates and heavy workloads. Employers should recognise this and make a considered effort to ensure that their employees know when it’s okay to take time off sick.

“To manage performance more effectively, employers should include management of sickness presenteeism as part of a good absence policy; one that advises employees what to do when they’re sick, whom they should contact and where to seek suitable advice if necessary.”