Ill Effects of Sick Employees at Work

Thursday, January 10th, 2008
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

As flu season gets under way, employers are gearing up for more sick employees dragging themselves — and their germs — in to work. When sick employees show up for work, known as “presenteeism,” there is a significant and costly impact on an organization, not only in terms of risking the spread of disease, but also in diminished productivity, quality and attention to safety.

A study, performed by the 2007 CCH Unscheduled Absence Survey, found that:

  • Eighty-seven percent of employers report that sick employees who show up to work are suffering from short-term illnesses such as a cold or flu, which can be easily spread.
  • One in four organizations report they have a plan in place if a large percentage of employees become ill, indicating most organizations are less than well prepared in the event of a pandemic.

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