Research Shows UK Hospitality Workers are Amongst Most Likely to Show Up for Work

British hospitality workers took the seventh lowest number of sick days in Europe last year, according to new research that identifies the countries most and least notorious for pulling a sickie.

The research from workforce management solutions provider, Mitrefinch, found that workers in the UK are in the top ten in Europe for taking the fewest sick days. UK hospitality workers took an average of 5.8 days, despite the fact that many worked overtime to make up for the losses faced by the events industry during lockdown.

Switzerland and Sweden shared the top spot when it came to high attendance, with their workers taking just 2.4 days sick leave on average over the course of a calendar year. Ukraine (3.7 days) and Malta (4.2 days) made up the rest of the top three.

While the stats for Swiss and Swedish workers are impressive, it’s important to note that these two countries are notoriously generous when it comes to annual leave entitlement. In particular, Sweden is known for having more holiday time than any other country in the world – 41 days of paid leave, to be exact!

However, recent figures suggest that more than two thirds of UK workers avoid taking sick days and still go into work despite feeling unwell. Adding to this, it’s been revealed that 238,000 (16%) hospitality workers do not qualify for statutory sick pay because of the lower earnings limit rule.

Bulgarian employees were found most likely to call in sick, taking on average 22 days off per year according to the most recent figures available. Workers in Germany didn’t fare too much better taking 18.3 days, with those in the Czech Republic also taking off the equivalent of more than three working weeks with sickness (16.3 days).

Commenting on the figures, Mark Dewell, Managing Director at Mitrefinch, an Advanced company, said:

“Workplace absences cost the UK economy a whopping £18 billion a year through lost productivity, with this figure expected to creep up to £21 billion in 2022 – causing significant losses for the hospitality industry as a whole. On top of the dip in productivity, employees who are renowned for calling in sick can put extra strain on other staff members who have to pick up their workload as a result.

“But, that’s not to say that taking a sick day should be viewed as a weakness or a lack of commitment, and it’s clear that this mentality is unhelpful for the wellbeing of its workers. Taking time out of work to recover from injury or illness (be that physical or mental) is important for productivity and growth.”