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Employers Urged to Keep Mucus Troopers at Home


Employers are ignoring doctors' advice, by stating a heavy cold is not a good enough reason to take time off work, according to a survey of HR professionals.

Doctors advise that, for the fastest recovery, people suffering from a bad cold should stay in bed, take medication and plenty of fluids.

However, the survey, carried out by Croner, found that only 12% of respondents were in favour of employees keeping their germs at home.

Richard Smith, employment expert at Croner, said that this attitude was leading to an increasing "martyr culture" where employees fear taking time off even when they were sick.

The TUC has coined the term "mucus troopers" for this dedicated bunch.

Mr Smith added: "From a health and safety point of view, if employees are bringing their germs to the office, they are inevitably risking their colleagues becoming ill too, which has greater consequences to productivity than if the employee had taken a day or two off to recover."

Croner is advising employers to:
· Check that guidelines regarding sickness are clearly outlined in the contract of employment.
· Believe that an employee is genuinely ill.
· Encourage them to go home if they show signs of being too ill to work.
· Don't make employees feel guilty or worried about work piling up on their
· Monitor employees' sickness to identify people who are regularly absent.

The typical adult suffers two or three colds and takes an average of nine days sickness each year.


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