You Scared to Take Time Off Work Sick?

Glassdoor Survey Shows Quarter of Employees Too Scared to Take Time Off Work Sick

Do you ever take time off work sick? New research[1] released from Glassdoor reveals that more than half of employees in Britain took time off work due to illness last year, and 14 percent took more than a week off[2]. Nine percent of employees said that they intend to “pull a sickie” in January 2016 (pretending to be ill), of which half will do so simply to have a rest.

Young employees are more likely than their older colleagues to be out of the office due to illness. 75 percent of employees aged 16-24 took some time off work sick last year compared to 61 percent of those aged 45-54 and 60 percent of those aged 55-64. One in four employees aged 16-24 would take a day off work if they had a cold, whereas just seven percent of employees aged 55-64 said the same.

However, despite some employees having time out, presenteeism[3] (defined as turning up for work when unwell), is still in evidence in British workplaces, according to the Glassdoor survey. 44 percent of employees questioned said they notice that people at their workplace do take time off if unwell, but return before they are fully recovered. One in four observe that people are too scared to take time off if they are sick and a further 25 percent say that managers pressure staff not to take time off.

What is it like at your workplace? Do your colleagues still turn up to work even if they are suffering from colds and the flu? Is the culture one where people are scared to not be at their desk? Help others find a job and a company they love by leaving a review.


  1. The survey of 1,033 GB adults aged 16-64 was conducted online by Harris Interactive UK on behalf of Glassdoor from 14 to 18 December 2015.
  2. Six or more working days during 2015
  3. http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3582