Wellbeing | Research reveals worrying levels of staff absence through illness or injury

Research reveals worrying levels of staff absence through illness or injury

More than half (52%) of employees have had to take time off work or - if self-employed - time out of their own business, due to falling ill or having an accident, according to new research from insurance and employee benefits provider MetLife UK.

Life moments are constantly happening, whether good or bad. But when the ‘bad’ does strike and we fall ill or have an accident, without having adequate protection in place, the financial implications can make an already difficult situation even tougher to manage.

Just 38% of employees received paid time off while recovering. And one in six (17%) had to take the time unpaid, while 12% had to use their own annual leave to avoid any financial burden. And almost one in ten (9%) had to alter their working hours to accommodate absences.

When it comes to sickness, 60% have taken up to one week off work, and 17% have taken more than a week. For those who have suffered an injury, just over a third (36%) have taken up to one week off, but one in ten (11%) have needed to take longer.

Rich Horner, Head of Individual Protection at MetLife UK comments: “When everything goes like clockwork, life is fine. But when disaster strikes, life can feel instantly more challenging. And quite often, these disasters come up unexpectedly and can knock you off balance.

“The last thing anyone wants, or to think about, is having an accident or feeling unwell. When trying to manage life – including caring for our loved ones, juggling work, how your employer/team will manage if you’re not there and all the financial commitments alongside – it can make an already tough situation much more stressful.

“But the fact is that despite our best efforts, accidents and illnesses do happen. And having to worry about the financial impact of not being paid only adds to the stress and worry, and in some cases can prolong recovery further.

“The wellbeing of those up and down the country is important to us, which is why we are so passionate about providing simple and affordable protection cover; so workers across the UK can feel confident should life ever throw them off track.”

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