One in three young employees believe that mental health sick days should be treated ‘separately’ compared to regular sick days.

In a study carried out by Viking, younger employees raised questions over their employer’s handling of sick days. Out of the 2,000 UK workers surveyed, 86% of 25-34-year olds said they feel under pressure to avoid taking days off due to illness.1

One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year according to Mind. Every week, one in six people in England will experience a common mental health issue such as anxiety or depression.

Reflecting on the statistics, Brian Hall, chief commercial officer at BHSF, said: “I think the issue is not about how the days are counted, but that employees feel the need to cover up the reason for absence.

“It’s really struck me, just how much bravery it takes for an employee to ask for help. It seems that our young rising stars see a request for help or an inability to cope as a real career risk, that’s unfair. We have to make it easier to ask and ensure the help on offer is relevant.”

Bob Huibers, marketing executive at Viking, said: “Businesses should be aware of the changing attitudes towards taking sick days. With absences falling to an all-time low, younger generations are forcing themselves into the office with colds, fevers, and poor mental health. Not only will this take its toll on employee’s health, but it will see a dip in productivity during office hours as well.”