Up to 650,000 employees call in sick each week

Written by Editorial Team
Last updated: 2nd November 2023
Nearly 650,000 UK workers call in sick each week, according to figures from the British Heart Foundation’s Health at Work programme.*
This means that up to 2% of the workforce is absent due to illness each week. The Public Administration and Defence sector showed the highest level of absence in the study, with around 51,000 people calling in sick during a typical working week.
Sickness absence takes a heavy toll on the UK economy, with ill health estimated to cost the UK economy £100 billion a year.

Ill health limits productivity

The research also suggests that ill health limits peoples’ ability to be productive at work – even when they make it into work despite sickness. Nearly half of all workers who reported a long-term health problem last year said they felt they couldn’t fully function at work.
Lisa Purcell, project manager for the British Heart Foundation’s Health at Work programme, commented that: “Sickness absence is a major concern for the health of our nation and costs businesses millions of pounds every year. But it doesn’t have to be like this…Businesses prioritising workplace health have created a healthier, more productive workforce with fewer days lost to sickness.”

Income protection can offer a lifeline

Of course, however healthy we try to be in our daily lives, we all get sick from time to time – and a severe or chronic illness can cause financial stress, especially if you’re supporting a family. Income protection insurance could provide financial peace of mind if you cannot work. Options for income protection include short-term and long-term income protection. You can compare income protection insurance deals using the table below:
*Source: http://www.bhf.org.uk/default.aspx?page=16600