Technology workers in the UK only take 3.4 days off sick, compared to a national average time-off due to illness of 9.1 days.
The figures are quoted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in a study out this week which found that the cost of sick leave to UK businesses has risen to £29bn a year.
UK workers take more than four times as many days off work due to sickness than their global counterparts, according to PwC, and sickness accounts for about 90 per cent of the total absence bill for UK businesses – including compassionate leave and strike action.
Jon Andrews, human resources consulting leader at PwC, indicated that while UK employees are taking about the same number of unscheduled absence days compared to two years ago, the number due to illness has risen. Sick days now comprise £28.8bn of an overall £31.1bn absence bill.
"Absence is still a significant drain on British businesses. At a time when companies are striving for growth it is vital they address this cost by looking for ways to improve employees' health, morale and motivation.
Allowing greater workplace flexibility could go a long way to helping break the sickness cycle," Andrews suggested.
"This is particularly relevant for start-ups and SMBs, where the cost of absence can be particularly crippling."
The UK's public sector workers took the most sick days over the last year, averaging a whopping 11.1 days each.
The next healthiest, after tech firm workers, were financial services (excluding banking and insurance) staff, who took a relatively modest 6.1 days off in the past 12 months due to illness.
In the US, workers only take on average 4.9 days off a year due to illness. In Asia-Pacific, people take about 2.2 days off each year.
Even in western Europe as a whole, the average time taken off due to sickness is only 7.3 days.
Andrews said that all countries have managed to reduce overall absence levels, even if only slightly, but UK businesses have made the least progress.
"For workers in the US and Asia, there is a sense that there is more at stake if they take unscheduled time off work," he noted.
"The stark variation in absence levels among different sectors and across western Europe suggests employee engagement, workplace environment and culture can have a huge influence. Technology companies often lead the way in terms of innovation and this is likely to feed into all aspects of their businesses."
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