The average Briton spends almost a year off sick throughout their working life, according to new research.
The survey of full-time workers, carried out by LV=, revealed that stress and depression are two of the most common illnesses that resulted in long absences.
Workers said they took an average of two and a half months (81 days) off to recover from these conditions.
Over 650,000 (2.9%) UK workers have been off with stress for more than a year during their career, revealed the research. And in the last three years one in 50 (435,800) workers have been off sick for more than a year.
The survey concluded that, taking in their whole working life, the average British person spent 360 days off sick.
LV= said the other most common and costly illnesses, taking in recovery time and cost, were: bad back, with 57 days of absence; severe migraines (18 days off); ear infections (13 days); and ‘flu (10 days).
The research also revealed that over a third (36%) of workers do not get sick pay cover from their employer. More than 7.8 million workers would only qualify for Statutory Sick Pay of £86.70 per week if they fell ill.
More than half (52%) of workers admitted to ‘being in the dark’ as to what they would be entitled to. An additional quarter (26%) admitted they did not know how they would manage to make ends meet if they were without their regular income.
Over two-fifths (44%) of workers admitted they had returned to work before they were ready as they were concerned about the financial impact of taking any more time off – and just one in ten has a policy in place that would provide them with a replacement income if they were unable to work.
Mark Jones, LV= head of protection said: “Often when we talk about workplace absence we look at the cost to businesses, however we wanted to highlight the impact that being off sick can have on an individual’s finances and lifestyle. The fact that one in three would only receive Statutory Sick Pay indicates that many would be out of pocket and struggling financially, especially if they were off work for a long period of time.”