‘Pull-a-sickie’ sector? Average state worker takes 12 sick days a year – hitting taxpayers for £9billion

Suspicions: The figures showed that public sector workers take 20 per cent more sick days a year than private sector employees on average.

The average public sector worker takes 12 days off sick every year at a total cost to the taxpayer of £9billion, figures reveal.
They also show that civil servants, teachers and other public workers are absent for 20 per cent more days than employees in the private sector.

It has prompted suspicions that state employees are pulling more ‘sickies’ than those who work for companies.
British workers also take twice as many sick days as those in the U.S. and Japan, according to the figures from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

On average, British workers take 10 sick days a year, Americans take six and the Japanese five.

European workers were similar to Britons with an average of 9.7 sick days.

But public sector workers in the UK had the highest rate of absence with an average of 12 sick days a year.

The accountancy firm surveyed more than 2,000 firms and public sector employers across the world.

Charlotte Linacre of the Taxpayers’ Alliance said: ‘It’s a scandal that yet more research confirms that public sector staff is pulling more sickies than those in the private sector.

‘Of course employers should be sympathetic to genuine illnesses but there seems to be a different approach when taxpayers’ pockets are raided to foot the bill.

Price Waterhouse Coopers estimated that the total sick days taken across the UK cost the economy £32billion a year, based on the average salary of £25,000.

But the true cost could be higher because once the effect of lost productivity and the cost of bringing in replacement workers is taken into account.

Some 80 per cent of the absences from work were blamed on sickness, with the remaining number down to jury service or compassionate leave.

Technology firms had the lowest rate of absence at 7.8 days a year while the average on the retail and leisure industry was 11.5.

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