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Poll: Do you feel pressured into returning to work too early after illness?

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Most workers do not take enough time off to recover from illness, revealing an "anti-absence" rather than sickie culture, a new study has revealed.

Half are too worried about catching up on work to stay at home after being ill, a survey of 1,000 office staff by recruitment firm Office Angels showed.

Almost a third were concerned about the pressure on other colleagues to do their work, while one in four were afraid of being accused of "pulling a sickie".

Around three-quarters of workers were not taking the time off work that they need to recover from illness, with two out of five not understanding how much sick leave they were entitled to take, said the report.

Younger workers were most worried that being off ill will impact on their job.

Chris Moore, managing director of Office Angels, said: "Employers are failing to reassure their staff that taking sick leave, when needed, is acceptable. As a result, people who are unwell are anxious that they will be left with an overwhelmingly heavy workload or let down their colleagues or manager.

"This anxiety is counter-productive. Not only are sick workers less productive and risk infecting their colleagues, but it creates a culture of fear in the workplace.

"At a time where many people are still concerned about their job security, more needs to be done to ensure employees feel supported to take the sick leave if they are unfit for work."

The study backs up warnings by unions and other groups that claims of a UK sickie culture were a "myth".

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