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Hillary Clinton fatigue highlights rise in 'presenteeism'
16 Sep 2016

It had got to the point where she had to physically collapse before being forced to step off the campaign trial – that’s how strong the need to continue working was for Hillary Clinton.

And she may be in the running to be the next President of the United States, but the 68-year-old certainly won’t be the only person who has pushed themselves to the limit rather than take a duvet day.

Employment law expert Julia Fitzsimmons, Partner with FBC Manby Bowdler, says the concerns for employers may not be about absenteeism – but rather the opposite. 

She says: “There are increasing signs of ‘presenteeism’ in the UK with fears over job security taking precedence over employee well-being.

“Around 35 per cent of illnesses are related to work, according to recent figures, with the long hours culture being cited as possible causes. What this means for the economy, is that 9.9 million work days are lost each year – a good reason why employers really need to be taking care of the physical and mental well-being of their staff.”

As well as physical causes for taking leave from work, stress, anxiety, panic attacks and tension headaches are also on the rise. And in turn, these can make just about any health condition worse, increasing the risk of heart diseases, depression, asthma and obesity. 

The latest statistics reveal that cases of work related stress, depression or anxiety topped 440,000 in 2015, that's 1,380 per 100,000 workers. The number of new cases was 234,000, with the result that 9.9 million working days were lost. 

Julia added: “Both employers and employees have responsibilities under the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations (1999). When your most important resource as an employer is your people, companies need to help support staff.

“This could be as simple as making sure workers are taking their full leave entitlement; that they are given the opportunity to speak with managers should they be feeling under stress or just that they are aware of company policies and procedures regarding taking time off for illness.”

Follow this link to find out more about the Employment Law services offered by FBC Manby Bowdler.

Meet Julia Fitzsimmons