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Unionization and sickness absence from work in the UK

  • Veliziotis, Michail

Does union membership increase sickness absence from work and, if so, by how much? And which specific channels does this effect operate through? Using UK Labour Force Survey data for 2006-2008 we find that trade union membership is associated with a substantial increase in the probability of reporting sick and in the amount of average absence taken. This result can be largely attributed to the protection that unions offer to unionized employees. Supportive evidence is also found for a reduction in “presenteeism†(attending work when sick) among union members. The results are robust to different modelling and estimation approaches.

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Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series ISER Working Paper Series with number 2010-15.

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Date of creation: 10 May 2010
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Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2010-15
Contact details of provider: Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
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Web page: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/
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  1. Robert Drago & Mark Wooden, 1992. "The determinants of labor absence: Economic factors and workgroup norms across countries," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(4), pages 764-778, July.
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  16. Marco G. Ercolani, 2006. "UK Employees' Sickness Absence: 1984-2005," Discussion Papers 06-02, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  17. Allen, Steven G, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Work Attendance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 77-87, February.
  18. Andrea Ichino & Enrico Moretti, 2009. "Biological Gender Differences, Absenteeism, and the Earnings Gap," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 183-218, January.
  19. David Blanchflower & Alex Bryson, 2002. "Changes over time in union relative wage effects in the UK and the US revisited," NBER Working Papers 9395, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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