The end of the sick day

Published Date: 14 Sep 09

Over half of people living in Britain are so scared of losing their job in the current climate that they are risking their health by working through illness. This is according to those surveyed as part of Simplyhealth's Bothered Britain Report, which is released this month. The report investigates how attitudes and behaviour have changed in the past year towards health-related issues, as well as looking at what people are really bothered about at the moment.

With redundancies rife across all industries, people are constantly worrying about their job security, so much so that they are not resting when needed, in case it gets used against them. This is evident from the new research, which reveals that a huge 43% of people living in Britain haven't taken any days off in the last 12 months, an increase of 20% from 2008, when it was just 36%.

Commenting on the findings, Raman Sankaran from Simplyhealth said: 'Today's competitive and pressured working environment means that some people find it difficult to speak up about an illness or take time off. However, employees should not be made to feel that they have to put their health at risk to save their job. A healthy employee is a more productive employee, and it's important that companies do everything they can to help support employees to good health.

'The current climate has not been conducive to good working relationships, as worryingly the research reveals that one in five (22%) people feel they are not believed when calling in sick, unless their illness has been witness by their employer.'

Dr Chris Steele MBE, ITV's This Morning, states that working through illness can do more harm than good: 'People think they are doing what's best by continuing to struggle on with work when they are unwell, but they don't realise they are actually doing more harm than good. Working through illness weakens the immune system, delaying the recovery process and leaving you feeling lethargic and unwell for several weeks, rather than the few days it would take if rest was taken at the first sign of symptoms. Aside from the slow recovery process, people are also spreading their germs by coming into work and risking the health of their colleagues.'

It appears that those living in Newcastle are the most concerned about their jobs, with almost three quarters (71%) of the city admitting they are so concerned about job security, they are less likely to take time off sick, whilst over half (57%) have not taken any days off in the last 12 months.

Those working in the retail, leisure and catering industries seem to be under the most pressure, with more than half (58%) not taking any sick days in the last year. Surprisingly, it is those in the finance sector that feel the most comfortable with just 24% demonstrating an absence free year.

Healthcare company Simplyhealth offers a variety of health plans, which start from as little as £2.25 per week. They offer help towards the cost of check-ups, treatment and emergencies, helping people budget for the costs of expected and unexpected healthcare. The company also has stores that provide a variety of mobility and daily living products. 

For further information on Simplyhealth please bother us on 0800 072 6715 or log onto In a world where so many people can't be bothered, Simplyhealth is proud to be a company that can. To find out how log onto


For further editorial information, please bother us:

Caroline Lakeman, Public Relations Executive 01264 342570
Rebecca Jeremy, Public Relations Assistant 01264 342400

Or [email protected]

Notes to Editors:

  • Previously known as HSA, BCWA, LHF, HealthSure and Totally Active, our family of health companies have joined together over the last 8 years to form Simplyhealth.
  • At Simplyhealth, we have been providing healthcare solutions for over 137 years, dedicated to serving our customers through a variety of Mobility and Living aids, Health Cash Plans, Dental Plans and Medical Insurance. 
  • Simplyhealth is committed to making a positive impact on our communities. Each year, the company helps health related charities and causes to the tune of at least £1million.
  • Simplyhealth is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority

Please be aware that the information contained in this press release is intended for sole use by journalists and whilst it is correct at the time of publication, it may subsequently become out of date.  It should not be used by customers or clients to influence or determine any financial or health decisions. Customers or clients should always consult their own financial advisors for specific financial advice and their GP or other healthcare practitioner for specific health advice.

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