Nearly half of public sector workers in Scotland believe sickness absence policies encourage staff to turn up ill or injured at work, a UNISON Scotland survey has found. A quarter of workers (25 per cent) said they had worked in the previous month when too ill to do so, while almost two thirds (60 per cent) said they had worked when ill during the past year. UNISON says its survey looked at the reality of sickness absence policies in Scotland and provides further evidence to dispel the myth that public sector workers are prone to taking sick leave. One in seven (14 per cent) of those polled said the sickness absence policy at their work is 'unfair' and more than a quarter (26 per cent) said the policy is badly implemented by management. Almost two thirds (60 per cent) reported that the stress policy in their workplace was not effective, while 28 per cent said there was no stress policy at all. Scott Donohoe, chair of UNISON's Scottish health and safety committee, said: 'Given the sort of jobs UNISON members do we should all be concerned that nurses, care workers, school staff and others are going to work when they are too ill to do so. Of even more concern is the evidence of poor sickness absence policies and little effective action on stress.' He added: 'From this survey, it appears that many public service employers in Scotland see managing sickness absence as forcing employees back to work as soon as possible, or disciplining those who are off work more regularly than others.' A new survey by the Dutch health care union Abvakabo FNV found six out of ten workers in the health care sector are afraid they won't be able to work until retirement age as are result of the increasing pressure of their jobs.

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