Workers cannot afford to be off sick and rush back to work because of financial fears, new research has found. Insurance giant Aviva found over half (52 per cent) of UK workers could survive financially for only three months on statutory sick pay. Around a third (30 per cent) said they'd survive for less than a month. Aviva, who undertook a nationwide survey of 1,000 British employees and 500 employers, found two-thirds of workers (65 per cent) cite financial concerns as the main reason to get back to work quickly if they are off sick. Regaining a sense of purpose (28 per cent), getting well (21 per cent) and providing for their families (16 per cent) were also high priorities. Aviva said the research highlighted the simple steps employers can take to help their employees. Just under a half of employees (47 per cent) said their fears would be allayed if they knew that the proper support was available and a quarter (24 per cent) said they'd be happier if they knew that their boss would work with them to ease their return to work. However, just 25 per cent of employers agreed the rehabilitation process is vital and only one in ten bosses said they would consider how they could adapt workers' jobs to aid their return to work. Steve Bridger, head of group risk at Aviva UK Health said 'few people have the savings available to support themselves and their families for very long. Employment and Support Allowance can come to as little as £67.50 a week - even less than Statutory Sick Pay - which in many cases would hardly cover a family's food shopping, let alone their mortgage and other necessary expenses.'
Briefing document (300 words) issued 25 Nov 2011
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