date: 15 May 2012
embargo: For immediate release
Commenting on the latest figures on sickness absence in the workplace, published today (Tuesday) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
'Workers are taking less time off sick than ever. The biggest problem workplaces face is not absenteeism but 'presenteeism' where workers come in when they are too ill.
'Presenteeism can multiply problems by making someone ill for longer and spreading germs around the workplace.
'Today's figures also show that the biggest causes of long term sickness absence are musculoskeletal disorders and stress. Both of these are often as a result of a person's work.
'Employers need to look at their working practices and see whether they can be changed to prevent ill-health, rather than try to blame workers for falling sick, which serves no good to anyone.'
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The ONS figures are available at http://bit.ly/K0WnAk
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
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Press release (300 words) issued 15 May 2012
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