Private health care the answer to sickies

A healthcare company is calling on employers to invest in health insurance for staff as a means of reducing the number of sick days taken by employees.

The Hospital Saving Association (HSA) says employees take an average of just 6.3 working days off a year, and that in essence they are conscientious about work and worry about how much time they have off.

Because of this diligent streak, HSA says employers can be sure of seeing sick workers back in the office in no time – if they are treated privately.

However, many bosses would take these findings with a pinch of salt. A survey published last month by Peninsula law firm revealed that 85% of businesses had trouble distinguishing between ‘sickies’ and genuine illnesses.

However, HSA believe employers should be sharing some of the responsibility. It’s research shows that private medical care is the second most desired work perk after a pension.

The results show that 60% of respondents said they would use private care to “actively manage their health”, instead of putting off seeing the doctor until they absolutely have to.

Julian Evans, of HSA personal medical plans, said: “Employees seem very concerned and aware about taking time off when ill which may explain why as many 40 per cent of respondents ignore health problems in the hope that they will go away.

“Despite this, SME’s still lose an average 6 days per employee each year. We believe early intervention is the key,” he added.

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