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Prestige News

Cutting Sickies is not the answer to Deficit!


30/03/2010
The easy savings to be made by cracking down on sickness absence in the public sector are a myth, the TUC said this week.
Public sector workers are more likely than colleagues in the private sector to work when too ill to do so and are in fact less likely to take a "sickie" — a short period off sick — according to a new TUC report, "The Truth About Sickness Absence".
Quoting CBI/AXA absence surveys it suggests that 69% of private sector absence is short term compared with around 50% of public sector absence.
While the TUC concedes that public sector workers take longer periods off work on absence, it points out that many work in stressful and dangerous jobs that can cause injury.
Furthermore, private sector workers are much more likely to work for employers who are quick to sack people with genuine health problems rather than help them return to work.
A new TUC poll found that, within the last month, more than one in five public sector workers have been to work when they were really too ill to do so (21%) and a further 41% (compared to 36% of private sector workers) have gone into work poorly when they should have stayed off sick within the last year, though not in the last month.
"Absence rates have been falling over time in the public and private sectors," TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said. "It is a myth that there are big, quick and easy savings from new policies that assume that sickness absence is mostly skiving."

 

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