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Sick employees feel pressured to show up for work

More than one in five finance employees worry about losing their jobs. Sick days increase their concern even more, according to a satisfaction survey made by Finansforbundet among its members.

2. May 2023
3 min
English / Dansk

Oh no. Not again. A slight fever, but is it enough to stay at home? If the employee has already had several sick days, the likelihood of feeling pressured to show up for work is higher.

This is the result of Finansforbundet's most recent satisfaction survey, which was completed by more than 11,000 members in October.

The concern of losing one’s job increases, perhaps not so surprisingly, in line with sickness absence. But it doesn't take many sick days before the worry increases.

Four sick days are nerve-wracking

Even with only few or no sick days at all, employees worry; in fact, 22 per cent of the members in this group are afraid of losing their jobs. These figures speak for themselves, says the Vice-President of Finansforbundet, Michael Budolfsen:

"The fact that more than one in five employees are afraid of being fired is a serious problem. And especially at a time when a high number of financial companies are in need of labour," he says and continues:

"This suggests that the signals we see regarding increasing workload are putting pressure on our members in several areas. It is a sign that Management has to take very seriously.”

Among the members who have had four sick days in the past year, concern about losing one’s job is even more pronounced. One in four of them worry about becoming unemployed, and if we take a closer look at those who have had eight or nine sick days in the same period, almost one in three share this concern.

In the group with ten sick days or more in the past 12 months, 37 per cent worry about unemployment.

“These are truly disturbing numbers.”
- Michael Budolfsen, Vice President of Finansforbundet

Turn up sick

At the same time, the survey shows that those who have the most sick days also most often feel pressured to go to work even if they feel sick.

One in four with more than ten sick days in the past year experience such pressure from their workplace. And one in three in this group fear that their job and career opportunities are at risk if they don't show up.

“These are truly disturbing numbers.” Going to work sick is bad not only for yourself but also your colleagues, who risk being infected. It may even result in a longer period of sickness than if it was nipped in the bud," states Michael Budolfsen.

He believes that top management needs to make it clear that you must stay at home when you are ill:

"This is the signal that must be passed on both to the employees and to the management system. And then perhaps it is time again to discuss sickness absence, consequences and concern for the same in the Works Councils," the Vice-President observes and points out that the sickness absence rates are generally low in the financial sector:

"That's why it's even more odd if you feel exposed for having more sick days than your colleagues."

General insecurity

Overall, the fear of losing one's job is quite significant in Denmark at the moment, even without considering the sick days.

A survey published recently by TrygFonden reveals that despite the fact that there is a call for labour from all sides, and the opportunities for getting a new job should be optimal, one in four

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