Sickness presenteeism involves employees continuing to work while unwell. As presenteeism is influenced by contextual and individual difference factors, it is important to assess its prevalence and implications for wellbeing and productivity in different occupational groups. This study examines these issues in a sample of prison officers working in UK institutions. Data were obtained from a survey of 1956 prison officers. Measures assessed the prevalence of and reasons for presenteeism and the perceived impact on job performance, along with mental health and perceptions of workplace safety climate. More than nine respondents out of ten (92%) reported working while unwell at least sometimes, with 43% reporting that they always did so. Presenteeism frequency was significantly related to mental health symptoms, impaired job performance and a poorer workplace safety climate. The reasons provided for presenteeism explained 31% of the variance in self-reported mental health, 34% in job performance and 17% in workplace safety climate, but the pattern of predictors varied according to the outcome. The findings can be used to inform interventions at the organisational and individual levels to encourage a ‘healthier’ approach to sickness absence, with likely benefits for staff wellbeing, job performance and workplace safety climate.
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - 13 Mar 2022|
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- prison officers
- mental health
- safety climate