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Local workers least likely to call in sick

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On average, Asian employees take 2.2 days of sick leave a year, while those in the US average 4.9 days.

A report by PwC also found UK employees take about 9.1 days off sick annually, the most globally, CNBC reported.

“If an employee is sick, they should consult a medical practitioner and stay at home to rest. Besides the fact that plenty of bed rest helps in the person’s recovery, ill employees may infect colleagues in the enclosed work areas,” Chan Hoi San, head of HR at StarHub, told Human Resources.

In Singapore, employees who have worked with the same company for more than six months are entitled to 14 days paid outpatient non-hospitalisation leave, and 60 days paid hospitalisation leave.

However, Chan added companies can afford to be flexible when it comes to sick leave, as doing so will “certainly help to maintain a basic level of productivity and help the staff recuperate at home”.

Shawn Balakrishnan, Hoffman’s HR in charge, said this flexibility, when coupled with other HR strategies, will “build a cohesive work environment which will eventually create a trustworthy and collaborative culture within the organisation”.

Singaporean companies must also keep in mind the ageing workforce – an issue also highlighted in the PwC report.

“With the demographics of the workforce rapidly changing, as many people are now having to work far longer before they retire, companies are likely to see a greater level of sickness if they don’t start addressing this issue now,” Jon Andrews, HR consulting partner at PwC, said.

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