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Workplace sickness rates 'looking healthier'

Published 18th May, 2015 by Neil Nixon

Workplace sickness rates 'looking healthier'

UK workers now take far less sick days than they did 20 years ago and while many experts suggest this is due to fears over job security, workplace equipment supplier Slingsby says it could be down to work environments becoming healthier and more hygienic.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics reveal that the average worker took 4.4 days off in 2013 which is down from 7.2 days in 1993. Slingsby supplies more than 35,000 workplace products across all industries and in recent years the firm has seen demand increasing for cycle shelters through to antibacterial hand gel that prevents the spread of germs and infections.

The company's marketing director, Lee Wright, said: “This research shows a significant drop in employee absence and lots of the speculation surrounding these figures suggests that fears about job security mean people are going to work when they are ill rather than calling in sick. This may be true to an extent, but when you look closely at the figures you can see they have followed a long-term, downward trend over the last 20 years rather than suddenly dropping at the start of the recession. There are likely to be many factors contributing to these statistics but there's no doubt the majority of workplaces have become healthier in recent years. For example, huge numbers of people are now cycling to work which offers a wide range of obvious health benefits. In fact, approximately 500,000 people have now taken advantage of the government's 'Cycle to Work' initiative, which enables them to save money on bikes that are tax-deductible as part of the scheme, and we're continually expanding our range of cycle shelters and other related equipment to accommodate this newfound demand. In addition, nowadays employers are much more aware that they don't need to watch helplessly as germs, viruses and infections spread through entire workplaces. Most now take simple precautions to prevent this happening such as signs reminding people to wash their hands and antibacterial hand gels positioned in strategic areas which can play a significant role in reducing absenteeism.”

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