Long-term sickness brings debt misery for millions
Sick absences from work of four weeks or more, which account for around 20% of total sickness workplace absence in the UK, are having a serious impact on many people’s personal finances, according to a recent report by debt management firm EuroDebt.
Stress due to heavy workloads is the biggest reason for long-term absences amongst non-manual staff and, while workers are partly protected by employment law, long sick leave absences can have a serious effect on saving and investment and other aspects of personal finance.
The opportunity to earn overtime shrinks and other non-standard payments dry up. For freelancers and the self-employed the situation can be even worse, as sick pay is rarely found in this environment.
Kevin Still, EuroDebt director, said: “Recent statistics show that personal debt now exceeds £1.4 trillion and a quarter of the UK population has little or no awareness of how much they spend a week, with a similar number (26%) having little awareness of their monthly cashflow.”
He continued: “The impact on those who may have to take unexpected leave due to ill health can be very significant. Monthly bills and saving and investment commitments need to be paid.
“This may be particularly acute if the household counts on extra income from the partner working part time where one family member’s illness could have an effect on the status quo.”