Belfast Telegraph

Sick staff still insist on going to work says new study

By Michael McHugh

They face serious risks to health and could cause huge costs to employers, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) study added.

Some staff regularly work through their lunch break and many feel there are not enough employees to cover the workload.

Ann Green, chair of the CSP, said: "Physiotherapists are concerned that overworking and not taking breaks is actually costing employers and their staff. Employees pay the price with their health and there is a cost to employers in reduced productivity and performance.

"Work is good for us and can contribute to physical and mental well-being - but not when overworking means people don't have the time or energy to look after their own health or when staff are at work but are not fit for work."

The CSP's survey revealed that:

  • 57% said they always or usually go to work when they feel stressed or physically unwell - with 32% experiencing physical pain and 48% feeling stressed at least once a week.
  • 55% said their physical pains are due to working in the same position for a long time.
  • 53% blamed their stress on not enough staff to do the work expected.
  • 55% said they were too busy with work to exercise regularly.

The study found more than one in three staff regularly work through their lunch break and one in five take none at all.

Ben Willmott, senior public policy adviser for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said the findings should ring alarm bells for employers. He said: "When the pressure people face regularly exceeds their ability to cope, in other words stress, it is likely to lead to time off work and is linked to conditions such as depression, anxiety and heart disease."