A new report has challenged the myth that public sector workers look for opportunities to pull a sickie after it found many struggled into work while unwell.
The TUC surveyed over 2,000 adults and discovered a fifth of public servants had carried on working in the past month while being poorly.
It also revealed that two out of 10 public sector staff had gone into work in the past year feeling ill. This figure was 5% higher compared to employees in private companies.
The TUC said the findings raised concerns over Government claims that there were large savings to be made from tackling absence in the public sector, which includes the NHS, education and councils.
The union organisation added that public sector workers took longer periods off work when sick, but pointed out that many worked in stressful and dangerous public sector jobs that could cause injury.
Only one in 10 public sector workers said they had never been to work when they were too ill, the study found.
One in three public sector workers said they went to work when ill because they didn’t want to let people down, while others didn’t want colleagues to be landed with extra work.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “It is a myth that there are big, quick and easy savings from new policies that assume that sickness absence is mostly skiving.”