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Sickness Absence ‘Down By 47 Million Days From 1993’

Average Worker Takes Four Days A Year Of Leave Due To Illness


New figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed that the number of days lost to sickness absence has fallen by an estimated 47 million in the past 20 years.

According to the research, the total number of days lost to sickness has fallen to 131 million, which marks an average of four days a year per worker.

The percentage lost to sickness within the private sector was found to be at 1.8 per cent, compared with the figure of 2.9 per cent in the public sector. In addition, workers in London were found to have the lowest percentage of hours lost to sickness.

It also revealed that men have lower sickness absence rates than women, while sickness absence was also found to rise with age but fall following eligibility for state pension.

Jamie Jenkins, statistician with the ONS, said that while sickness has fallen significantly in the past 20 years, the fall has been levelling off since 2011 with “very little change over the past two years”.

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