Why the UK's dire rates of sick pay bode ill for the economy

Why the UK's dire rates of sick pay bode ill for the economy

EasyJet removing seats from its planes, Tui no longer serving meals on flights, and bus companies cutting services. From the headlines, Britain appears to have a big problem with sickness absence as Covid adds to staff shortages across the economy. But these incidents apart, the big picture is very different. Thanks to low sick pay – now back to pre-Covid levels despite Boris Johnson’s promise to “build back better” from the health emergency – Britain has among the fewest working days lost to illness in the developed world. Sickness absence rose last year as the economy reopened, from a record low in 2020 when the pandemic reduced socialising and people could keep logging on from home despite illness. However, despite rising from 3.6 to 4.6 days a year, the average …
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