“It is interesting how we feel the need to prove how ill we are before we take time off when taking that time off sooner would lead to a faster recovery. I see it in my own team and I applaud it and occasionally need it, but there are times I have to step in and force that time off. I think what is fantastic about this 69% figures is the fact that 2 things are going on, firstly the employee feels responsible and empowered with their workload and secondly they are likely to not want to let the company or the boss down. However I also think when there is true trust and someone isn’t sick all the time you should feel that you should be able to take the time off to get well. I do often find that 1 day off can lead to the proper down time required to recover. Otherwise I find I can have an individual below par for 10 days or more and I would rather 5 days off and 5 days of true performance than 10 days at half speed.
I do think with smaller companies it can be difficult to facilitate and support sickness when you are up against it as jobs are unlikely to be covered when the person is off, but honestly every company will cope and if anything it highlights what they need to do long term to ensure they are able to cope in the future. And from my perspective I would rather have a team who when they are in they are well and we can all cope with the pressure as opposed to 1 or 2 at half mast.
I think if that message is sent by you as an employer you will find individuals will feel more support to take time off quicker when they are ill , leading to a quicker recovery. Obviously in the same article we have the 23% pulling a sickie and I can truly say that would not happen in our environment as the guilt at doing that to other team members because of the type of people in our company would be too much. And I would suggest it is this 23% which create the distrust where others feel they have to prove how sick they are before they take that time off. I think more honest and transparency and support and taking on the right employees will ensure you can trust them to support the 69% and not have to worry about them being in the 23% category.”
Comments based on: http://www.onrec.com/news/statistics-and-trends/sick-the-job-uk-employees-three-times-as-likely-to-go-to-work-unwell-than