Non-Medical Factors Responsible for Sick Leave

According to the statistics produced by the UK government, about 8 million working days are lost in a year because of illness. 1/3rd of these cases are because of minor ailments like cold, cough, diarrhea and sickness. However, when two employees suffer from same intensity and illness, both might not report sick. A new Swedish study states that employees might also take sick leave due to stress and conflicts at work.

More than 400 participants were interviewed for the study. They all were employed at six different places. According to Hanna Hultin, sociologist at the Karolinska Institutet, it was observed during the study that the employees had problems with their colleagues or superiors just days before they reported sick. Employees with minor health issues were more likely to take sick leave when they feel that the next workday would be a stressful one.

It was concluded that stress at work place not only affects the health of the employees but also their behavior when sick. This study will give an insight on why the sick leave rates are different among individuals when they share the same health issues. The research appears in the journal BMC Public Health.

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