Staff sickness 'lower than Germany'
Filed under: Career
Fewer than one in 10 companies were affected by high levels of employee sickness in 2009, down from 17% in 2004, it found.
This compared with one in four companies in Germany and one in five in France, said Wen Wang of the University of Wolverhampton Business School.
Dr Wang said at a British Sociological Association conference in Warwick: "Workplace absence through sickness was reported to cost British business £32 billion a year - our findings show that Germany and France suffer even bigger losses.
"Strong employment protection and generous sick pay was empirically found to contribute to increased staff sickness in Germany and France. Employment protection is much higher and sick pay is more generous in Germany and France.
"Our results also show that a friendly and supportive working environment can also reduce sickness, regardless of nationality."
The findings support recent research showing that the UK does not have a "sickie" culture, with unions arguing the opposite is true, with employees struggling into work while ill.
© 2013 Press Association