Stressed workers counting the cost of sick leave

The average UK worker spends around a year of their life on sick leave, according to a new study.

According to the National Sickness Report, over a 45-year career, people can expect to take – on average – 360 days off sick.

Stress and depression were the two most common reasons behind staff taking days off – accounting for a combined 81 sick days.

Other regular ailments included a bad back, migraines, ear infections and flu.

The survey – which polled 2,000 people – also found that stressed workers are likely to end up over £4,600 out of pocket over the course of their career because of the limitations of statutory sick pay.

Mark Jones, from insurance firm LV= which conducted the research, said: “Often when we talk about workplace absence we look at the cost to businesses. However, we wanted to highlight the impact being off sick can have on workers’ finances and lifestyle.”

According to the Sickness Absence in the Labour Market 2012 report – conducted by the Office for National Statistics – as many as 13 million days are lost in the UK each year due to stress and depression.

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