80% of city employees missed work over illness

UP to 80% of Limerick’s employees missed time at work last year after reporting sick.

And 13.5% in the Mid-West capital were out-of-pocket due to illness, according to new research.

National research, however, indicated that Dublin employees were more likely to lose days at work than their provincial counterparts.

The figures emerged from a survey carried out in Limerick city last month by Combined Insurance.

Some 64.5% of Limerick employees visited a doctor during the year as a result of illness, with 1.5% having to see their GP on more than six occasions.

One-in-nine of those sick were hospitalised on account of illness.

Similar research was conducted in Galway, Waterford, Cork and Dublin and it found that almost 33% of employees lost money on a national basis, compared with Limerick’s 13.5%.

Interestingly the research indicated that Cork people are least likely to go to a doctor — 41.5% did not go at all.

Up to 34% of South Dublin employees missed more that six days at work — the highest percentage in the country, followed by Waterford at 26% and North Dublin at 23% (this compares with Limerick’s 8%).

Commenting on the survey, Kieran Brennan of Combined Insurance said that people are at risk of suffering a loss of earnings if they do suffer an illness.

“The results of the survey were very revealing. It showed that right around the country people are losing out on earnings due to illness. We believe this is an issue that is often glossed over and we wanted to draw people’s attention to it,” he said.

With Irish people having large mortgages, direct debit payments and general bills every month, a reduced salary due to illness, for even one month, can have a very significant impact on quality of life, he added.

Self-employed people are the hardest hit, he said, as a lot of their income is dependent on the amount of work they put in.

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