Figures from the Chartered Management Institute have shown that workers are still going to work even when they are unwell, and that ill-health, combined with a culture where 'illness equals weakness', is damaging UK organisations.

The 'Quality of Working Life' report revealed that nearly a fifth of managers believe their health is deteriorating. A third of managers claimed a culture of not taking time off work for sickness existed in their organisation, and only half felt they would be treated with sympathy if they were sick. The report also said that the impact of this negative attitude towards sickness is seen through declining performance and waning enthusiasm.

Further analysis uncovered concerns caused by excessive hours at work with long hours affecting relationships with children (63%), friends (59%) and individuals' health (54%). Jo Causon, of the CMI, said: "The risk of mistakes or spreading sickness surely outweighs the short-term benefits of someone turning up for work when not fully fit,"