January 22, 2016
Employers don’t want employees coming to work when they’re sick, but are frustrated by working time lost to doctors’ appointments, according to new research by AXA PPP healthcare. Nearly a third (32 percent) of bosses (owners, directors, senior and middle managers) say they’d prefer employees to take time off sick rather than come to work ill, yet 29 percent are frustrated by the working time lost when employees take time off for medical appointments. This is why employees tend to wait for a week to see if they recover before seeking medical advice, while over a third (35 percent) delay seeking treatment due to work hours and pressures. Over a quarter of bosses admit to asking an employee what’s wrong in order to find out whether their condition is serious enough to warrant taking time off and twelve percent say they would ensure that employees who attend medical appointments during working hours make up for the missed time.
Nearly one in ten (8 percent) ask employees to take half a day’s holiday to cover for the time they’ve taken for medical appointments. Asked on their views on employees taking time off for sickness, only 28 percent of bosses said they felt that sick employees should take however long is needed for their treatment and recuperation. On the other hand 17 percent indicated that, although they were sympathetic to employees’ plight, they didn’t expect them to take more than three days off sick at a time.
Nearly half (49 percent) of the bosses polled agree that having a quick diagnosis backed by information on how to get better would help improve their employees’ productivity and given that the survey was conducted by AXA PP healthcare, it’s hardly surprising that a quarter of the managers surveyed agreed that quick referrals to consultants and treatment would be beneficial. Moreover, nearly two fifths (38 percent) accepted that providing all employees in their workforce with access to healthcare benefits would help reduce sickness absence and improve employee health.