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Employees under 35 twice as likely as older colleagues to call in sick in winter


Employees under 35 are twice as likely as their older colleagues to be off work in the winter because they are 'under the weather'. But they are also twice as likely to stay late at work because gloomy evenings don't entice them out, research reveals.

As many as one in five adults under 35 are more likely to stay at work beyond usual working hours because it's dark - double the number of people aged 35 to 65. One in five workers under 35 are more likely to feel unwell and lose work in winter than in summer and one in ten workers aged between 35 and 65 are more prone to winter ailments that keep them off wor.


According to a report by recruitment outsourcing company Elemense, the under 35s are least likely to want an extra bank holiday in autumn to break up the long gap between late summer and the Christmas holidays.

Less than half of all working people (43%)  think there should be an autumn Bank Holiday and just 38% of men feel there should be an extra day off between the late summer and Christmas holidays, however 48% of women do want on.

Workers aged 18-24 are less likely than any other working age group to want the extra day off, with just 39% saying so.

Keith Sammons, managing director at Elemense, said: "We are now in the depths of winter. Days are just past their shortest and it seems a long time ago that we were enjoying the late summer bank holiday in August. Yet the popular view that an extra bank holiday is needed isn't supported by our research - only 43% of workers argued for one and the under 35s were the least keen.

"It's interesting that the under 35s who work longer to put off their journeys home in the darker nights are also more likely to be off work under the weather in winter. This might suggest that while they are least interested in an extra day off in autumn that they might be the very group that could benefit most."
Chris Wollen from office maintenance firm Ergro Group, added: "We are seeing more firms than ever ask us to think about the right lighting and more comfortable working conditions - especially when they plan modifications in the winter months. It seems that avoiding the winter blues is a real management priority now."