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One in five Brits are stressed, depressed or just hungover

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One in five Brits are stressed, depressed or
just hungover

Survey reveals Cambridge as the “sickie” capital
of UK with olds and flu remain the prime reason for time off work.

As Britain staggers its way
through Christmas party season, 10 percent of UK workers admit to taking a
‘sickie’ or being hungover on their last ‘sick’ day off work, according to
research from Aon Consulting, the leading employee risk and benefits management
firm. A total of just over 20 percent cited stress, depression, being hungover
or taking a ‘sickie’ as the real reason for their last day off.

Cambridge is the UK’s
‘sickest’ city with over 20 percent of workers admitting to having feigned
illness or been too hungover to face work, according to the survey of 4,046
respondents from across the UK. In contrast, the people of Portsmouth are the
least likely (four percent) to have ticked the hangover or ‘sickie’ box. Just
over one in ten Londoners were not actually sick or were suffering from the
night before on their last day off work. The survey also revealed that colds
and flu are the most common reason for absence (38 percent), while 11 percent
of workers selected stress and/or depression and seven percent cited fatigue.

Commenting on the research,
Paul White, Head of Risk Benefits at Aon Consulting, said: “At this time of
year, it is not surprising that many workers will be celebrating the end of a
rollercoaster year, as they should. However, there is no need for employers to
suffer as a result. Implementing a flexible benefits programme, where employees
can buy and sell holiday, could help employees better manage their time off
from work, and mean that ‘sickies’ are less common.’

“Hangovers aside, tackling
sickness absence is becomingly increasingly important to organisations who seek
to manage their costs. It has been a difficult year and employers must be aware
that they have a responsibility to care for their workers. Companies are quite
rightly addressing cases of stress and depression and further Aon research*
shows that flu jabs and stress management are now the most popular wellness initiatives
offered by companies. “Organisations should clearly communicate the range of
wellbeing benefits they provide for their staff, and employees should start
taking advantage of the many benefits offered by their employers.”

18 December 2009


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