Businesses across the country are bracing themselves as (some) staff arrive at work on ‘National Sickie Day'.
The first Monday in February has traditionally seen the highest number of UK employees absent from work through sickness, says St John Ambulance.
And the 2017 figure is expected to be higher than previous years, thanks to National Sickie Day falling on the first weekend after ‘Dry January’, and following the first post-Christmas payday, Super Bowl Sunday, and the start of the Six Nations, according to a spokesman for the charity.
The Employment Law Experts (ELAS) predicts that approximately 350,000 people will call in sick, costing the UK economy around £45million in wages, lost hours, and overtime.
For those struck down with illness on National Sickie Day St John Ambulance is giving advice for the ailments people may be suffering from:
1) Headaches – Sit or lie down somewhere quiet, and hold something cold against your head. This could be a bag of peas, or ice wrapped in a cloth, or a cold compress if you have one (apply for no more than ten minutes). You can also take the recommended dose of painkillers, such as paracetamol (for adults only).
2) Hangover – Enjoyed your post-Dry January weekend a little too much? Dehydration is one of the main causes of hangover symptoms. Make sure you drink lots of water and/or an oral rehydration solution to stay hydrated.
3) Vomiting and diarrhoea – Vomiting and diarrhoea are usually caused by irritation of the digestive system and can occur together or separately. Both can be triggered by parasites, viruses or bacteria and it causes the body to lose essential salts and fluids risking dehydration. When you’ve stopped vomiting, sip a glass of water or unsweetened fruit juice. Take frequent small sips to help replace the fluid you have lost. When you are feeling hungry again, eat foods that are easily digested, such as bread, pasta or potatoes for the first 24 hours.
4) Food poisoning – You may feel the effects of food poisoning within a few hours, and will often be sick or have diarrhoea. However, in some cases it can take up to three days to get over food poisoning. If you think you might have food poisoning, these are the six key things to look for: feeling sick, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, headache, or fever. The most important thing is to drink water so you don’t get dehydrated and/or an oral rehydration solution.
5) Flu – Flu is a common infectious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes. It can be very unpleasant, but you’ll usually start to feel better within a week. You are advised to rest, keep warm and drink plenty of fluids. You may also take paracetamol or ibuprofen (as directed) to relieve aches.
For more information on St John Ambulance visit www.sja.org.uk.