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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 July, 2003, 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK
Manchester tops office 'sickie' list
Colds and flus are a popular reason for absence due to illness
Mancunians take the highest number of sick days in Britain and Ireland, according to a survey.

The study of more than 4,300 medium and large businesses across Britain and Ireland published on Tuesday found Manchester workers called in sick more than anyone else in the country, an average of 11 days each a year.

They were followed by workers in Edinburgh and Dublin, who stayed home sick nine times on average.

Of the major cities surveyed, Londoners proved the fittest.

Workers in the capital took sickies an average of only seven sick days a year.

In Manchester, the rate of sickness is up from nine days in 2000 and only seven days in 1997.

Top ten sickie list
1. Manchester 11 days
2= Edinburgh 9 days
2= Dublin 9 days
4= Liverpool 8 days
4= Glasgow 8 days
4= Belfast 8 days
4= Cardiff 8 days
4= Newcastle 8 days
4= Birmingham 8 days
10. London 7 days

In most of the cities surveyed, workers took an average of eight sickies a year.

Angie Robinson, chief executive of Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said she was shocked by the figures.

"We are hugely disappointed by the result," she told BBC News Online.

"This issue has never been raised - and we have nearly 4,000 member organisations.

"Manchester has very highly skilled and talented people who work very hard.

"The suggestion they don't is a big surprise, because it's something we don't see."

The survey, commissioned by employment law firm Peninsula, found the most common causes of workplace illness and absenteeism were: food poisoning (24%), back problems (23%) and colds and flu (21%).

The survey found Friday and Monday were the days most commonly missed because of illness.

Sick leave costs UK 1.75bn
28 Apr 03  |  Business
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13 Nov 01  |  Health

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