State workers take 60% more sick days

Published on by Michael Fisher (author)

As the recession and fears of job loss are causing many to come to work even when sick, state workers still take record high numbers of days off ill

Since the recession began in 2008 the levels of employee absenteeism have dropped around the country, with many people understandably being afraid to be caught with a high absenteeism record, and fearing for their jobs. This has led to many people continuing to come to work, even when suffering from illnesses that would otherwise have them in bed for a week.

Research shows that in 1993 there was an average 7.3 days per year taken off for sickness, while in 2007, just before the recession, there was still an average 6 days. Now however the number has fallen year on year, with the current average being closer to just 4 days absent from work a year. Despite this, research has shown that those working in the public sector continue to take more time off from work. The hourly rate seems to be that a private sector worker loses 1.6% of their normal hours to sickness, while a public sector worker loses 2.6%.

What’s more public sector workers continue to be paid more than their private sector equivalents, with a state worker earning £16.24 per hour average, compared to just £14.11 for the private worker. On top of this, the average private sector worker has 33.5 hours a week, compared to just 30 hours for the public sector worker.

It seems despite the Government’s rhetoric for business leaders to sharpen up their ideas, they will not consider doing the same.