Intended for healthcare professionals

Practice Observed

Certificated sickness absence in industrial employees threatened with redundancy

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988; 296 doi: (Published 28 May 1988) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988;296:1508
  1. Norman Beale,
  2. Susan Nethercott


    The proposition that workers take less sick leave when threatened by redundancy was examined in a longitudinal, controlled study using information from case records in a general practice. The hypothesis was only partly supported—certificated sickness absence dropped only in employees under the age of 40. Workers fearing job loss reported more illness, and their periods of absence were significantly longer, especially for men and for workers who had previously consulted their general practitioner infrequently.

    This study provides further evidence that the fear of mass redundancy is stressful to workers so threatened and costly to a society experiencing rising unemployment.