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Public servants "do not skive work"

A new report has claimed people working in the public sector are more likely to work when ill compared with their counterparts in the private sector.

The TUC report said the myth that public servants look for excuses to pull a sickie has been "smashed".

One in five people surveyed by the TUC who work in the public sector said they had struggled into work over the past month even though they felt unwell.

Over the past 12 months, two in 10 workers in organisations such as councils, the NHS and education had gone into work feeling ill. The figure was 5% more compared with private companies, according to the study.

The TUC said the findings called into question government claims that there were large savings to be made from cracking down on absence in the public sector.

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."

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