Sickness

British workers may be notorious for taking the occasional sickie, but it turns out that taking working days off sick doesn’t actually pay off, as the UK and Ireland offer the worst sick pay across Europe.

British Workers taking a week off sick totals to just £35.96 after three ‘waiting days’, a period at the beginning of sick leave where nothing is paid. This is the equivalent to a mere 9% of the average weekly salary.

In Ireland, six waiting days ensure that a week of sick leave pays out nothing, and anything after a week totals £71.82, according to the research by money saving website Vouchercloud.

In comparison, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Belgium and Norway all pay out 100% of an employee's wages for at least one month.

Operating with a basic minimum payment per week, the UK and Ireland leave workers with a workplace sick pay scheme with a major financial shortfall.

Chris Johnson, head of operations at vouchercloud, commented: “Despite an increasing number of companies operating independent sick pay schemes, it’s disappointing that the UK is sitting right at the bottom of table for mandatory payments".A month of sick leave doesn’t prove any more lucrative, as the UK and Ireland still lag at the bottom of the table.

The UK actually pays out just 18%, and Ireland just 12%, of the average monthly wage (£305.71 and £201.11 respectively), despite both having a typical monthly wage well above the European average.

Bulgaria, with an average wage of £3,896 per year, compared to the UK’s £21,552, still pays out £55.45 for a week of sick leave, almost £20 more than the UK.

Despite this shortfall in sick pay, recent research has shown that UK workers actually take more sick leave than their global counterparts, clocking up over 9 days of unscheduled absence each year.

Eastern Europe as a whole is actually far more consistent with large and healthy sick leave payments according to the map, with Western Europe, despite tending to have higher wages and better quality of life in general, lagging behind.Things are even better on the other side of the world, Australia pays out on 10 sick days per year which accumulate, guaranteeing you at least two working weeks’ worth of sick pay every year and £662 for a week of sick leave.

Mr Johnson added: “Despite differences all across Europe in the number of waiting days and whether the government or the employer pays, there’s no excuse for things to be as bad as they are.

“This could leave many hard-working Brits in the lurch should they fall ill; even for a week or two. Sometimes missing just a couple of days can be the difference between a month in the black and a month in the red, after all".