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Working when ill – Hillary Clinton

Hilary Clinton Health | HR Solutions

There are many issues surrounding taking sick days away from work.  Recently, Hillary Clinton cancelled a trip to California which has highlighted that often people work when they are sick.

Hillary Clinton, who is 68-years old had to leave a 9/11 memorial service early after reportedly overheating, and recent reports have suggested that she may now be suffering from pneumonia. With this being the case, it brings forward a question that is often asked – is it better to soldier on, or to simply take a day off work?

The effects on your general health

It has been shown in studies that if you take time away from work to recover while you are ill, this means that you are much less likely to suffer any more serious health effects in the future. In a study of British civil servants, it was found that those individuals who simply took time away from work when ill suffered half as many heart attacks as those who tried to attend work no matter what. From this perspective, it seems that staying away from work is a much better option.

The effect on your co-workers

If you attend work while you are unwell, there is a chance that you could spread illness to anyone who is working around you. In the long term, this is likely to increase the number of days taken away from work by staff, causing a greater effect on the company than would have been the case if the person who spread the germs had simply stayed in bed for a couple of days in the first place.

Supportive management?

Many people fail to take days away from work due to the worry that they will not be believed by their managers. Because so many people take days off when they shouldn’t, there is always the risk that everybody could be tarred with the same brush – however from a management point of view it is vital that the absence policy is made clear.

It is often a good idea to allow a certain number of days – often three – away from work without needing a doctor’s note, as this is the amount of time that it usually takes to get over an illness too mild to require a doctor. After that, a note should be required before any more paid leave is taken.

Ultimately, when you consider the effect that absences can have on the output of the company, it is clear that there should be a solid policy put in place. This means that both management and staff know where they stand, and therefore any future absences will be dealt with in the best possible way.

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