Stress at work makes more than half of us pull sickies

More than half of workers in Ireland (56 per cent ) have ‘pulled a sickie’ or know someone who has when they were well enough to come into work, according to new research data on health in the workplace from One4all Rewards.

Respondents said they had called in sick despite being healthy due to being stressed and working long hours. Of this number, 36 per cent said it happened between once and twice a year, 13 per cent said it happened as much as four times a year, while 5.4 per cent said it happened five times a year or more.

Not only do Irish workers feel stressed and overworked, they also feel uncared for. Some 43 per cent of Irish workers say their employer does not care about their health. This has jumped from 35 per cent in May 2015, when a similar survey was carried out by One4all Rewards.

Almost half of workers surveyed (45 per cent ) have been the victim of workplace bullying or know someone who has. Of those who had experienced bullying at work, almost 60 per cent said their employer did not handle the situation effectively, and only 12 per cent said counselling and/or HR support had been offered.

Michael Dawson, CEO of One4all, said: “This survey highlights a major issue facing companies in Ireland with regards sick leave. If over half of workers are calling in sick when they are healthy, at least once a year, then there is clearly an issue to be addressed regarding stress levels and overworked employees.

“This survey also shows the high levels of stress caused by people worrying about their job security and feeling overworked. Also, a good proportion of workers feel that employers don’t care about their health. While we all appreciate that we work and operate in a very competitive environment, it is essential for companies to do all they can to ensure their employees get a positive experience in the workplace.

“Previous research has shown that employees who feel valued and looked after are happier and more productive. Furthermore, with new research showing that in the coming years employees are going to become a scarce resource, it is more important than ever to retain great staff by showing respect and appreciation for their efforts.”

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