Days off sick cause panic to those worrying about job security and debt

Swine Flu, Volcanic Ash and the common cold seems to be driving employers crazy all over the UK – and panicking employees about their job security. Complete our poll below and also comment on how you feel about this subject – how secure do you feel in your current job?

Swine  Flu, Volcanic Ash and the common cold seems to be driving employers crazy all over the UK – and panicking employees about their job security.

Winter 2009 brought, as always, the common cold – sneezing and coughing over colleagues became concern for everyone.  As absent days tolled up,  the Swine Flu epidemic took over, causing widespread panic with workplaces up and down the country hosting a large supply of tissues and antiseptic gel.  Just when we thought the worst was over and we no longer had to panic about unplanned days away from work, holiday makers taking a well deserved break, were punished by what I’m now calling, Ashgate.

On the bright side, Ashgate has offered a much appreciated extended holiday for people stranded in sunny locations  – but when coming back home, I have to ask, what question marks does it leave, if any, over their job security?

Now the official word is of course none…but with so many illnesses doing the rounds in the last 6 months, Ashgate has been the icing on the cake, causing even more paranoia for both employers and employees about time staff are taking off.

According to research now released by Aviva UK Health, 78% of employees are choosing to go into work even when they’re still ill because they panic about how they would cope financially if they lost their job. So, I think it’s time you had your chance to contribute to this debate.

Please complete our poll below and also comment on how you feel about this subject – how secure do you feel in your current job?  Has illness or Ashgate effected your approach to unplanned time off work?

Your feedback is welcomed and appreciated!

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  1. Having recently been dismissed from my job due to taking “too Much” time off sick this is very relevant to me.

    I was unfortunate to have a lot of health problems which my employers knew about when I commenced employment with them and was hospitalised and had to take time off.

    Despite this I was dismissed so I know this is a very real concern.
    I have launched an appeal for unfair dismissal but am not optimistic about the outcome.

  2. I have worked since I left school, 40 years, and have been through many rounds of redundances in the different companies I have worked for. The bottom line is, that time off due to sickness is top of the list when choosing who to make redundant. Personnel managers will deny this but I have seen it happen so many times. One person in particular was off work twice in one year, hospitalised both times, within the last year before redundancies were announced. He had not been off sick or hardly off sick in the previous 10 years. He was made redundant due to the amount of days off due to sickness.

  3. I was made redundant last year but I had needed some time off for health issues and operations. I was actually told I was being made redundant whilst in hospital suffering with Pnumonia!! I have now had to take a job with a 1/3 less pay and no benifits. If I take a day off sick I no longer get paid.

  4. Im self employed I dont work I dont get paid I cannot be ill I took 8 days holiday last year, this year I cant even take that, so I intend after this year to pack up and go to France and dissapear into the either, This country offers me nothing as its to busy giving help and money to eastern occupants, and british airways, good luck to all the unions but its not for me Im the old school you earn what you work for

  5. We thank everyone for their contribution to this very sensitive issue and thought it would help to add a HR perspective to the debate. Please see below a short contribution from our own HR Officer:

    There are several reasons why employees decide to attend work when they are ill; they include:

    • High levels of perceived pressure from managers/colleagues.
    • Having no-one to cover work load.
    • Concerns about job security, believing that attendance records will be used against you in any possible redundancy selection, or perceiving that poor attendance will give you a lesser chance of promotion and career progression.
    • Not receiving payment when off sick.

    On the opposite side of the coin, the view could be taken by some companies that if you are ill with colds, flu etc which are contagious, going to work will have an adverse effect on your colleagues and your employer as it could lead to more employees being affected and being ill.

    Each company may view and address absence in different ways and it is difficult to give any overall advice. However anyone who feels under pressure to attend work should look at the possible underlying causes, for example any of the above, and if they feel able to do so, discuss this with their line manager or HR Department.

    If employees do take time off work because of sickness, the employer will have rules and procedures that staff are required to follow and they should make sure they follow these. They should also always keep in touch with the employer about their sickness, telling them about any advice the doctor has given and how long they will be off work.

    ClearDebt Marketing Team

  6. where i work we have a system called the bradford points system,if you get over 200points you have a written warning,and if it continues within a 6mth period you have disinplinary action taken against you,there was this one women who had 170 points,but then she had to have an operation on her hip,when she came back off the sick she had a disinplinary cus she had over 700 points,i do not think this system works,because it discrimenates against those who are really sick,the points only come down if you do not have any time off in six months, we work in a food factory where hygenie is very important,but because everyone is afraid to take time off,they are coming in with colds and passing it onto other people,

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