Generation Z employees take the highest number of sick days, a new study has revealed.
Research by Health Shield Friendly Society showed that those aged 18 to 24 years old are off ill an average of three days more than other staff members.
The health cash plan provider carried out a survey of 590 people in full- or part-time work, with a cross-section of regions, gender and age. It also found that Generation Z took the most amount of time off work for mental health reasons, compared to 55-64-year-olds who rarely do so. This suggests that either younger people are struggling more with their mental health, or they are simply more comfortable citing it as a reason for absence, according to the provider.
As many as nine in 10 respondents in this age bracket said the cost-of-living crisis is more worrying, or as worrying, as the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, 44% admitted that money worries troubled them every day. This was higher than the number who said the same in other age groups.
Matt Liggins, head of wellbeing at Health Shield, said: “Our survey has highlighted a real concern over the health of the youngest members of the workforce. Those aged 18 to 24 should be in the best of health, yet they are taking significantly more sickness absence than much older counterparts.
“While it may be that younger people are more willing to be open about their struggles with mental health – saying a lot about progress made by employers to remove traditional stigma – these findings do suggest it is a serious issue that employers should be addressing urgently.”
According to Health Shield, providing employee benefits that can help address these concerns will be essential for Generation Z staff since there currently appears to be no signs of respite from money worries for young people.