Long-term sick: How record number is changing UK economy

“I was very independent. I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. Now I need help washing my hair,” says Flic, who contracted long Covid whilst working as a children’s physiotherapist in the NHS.

She is among the two and a half million people who are not working due to health problems – a new record in the UK.

For every 13 people currently working, one person is long-term sick.

The absence of their skills from the workforce is starting to take its toll on productivity – and may start to impact long-term growth, according to economists.

“People being off work is inevitably going to be bad for business and the economy,” says Tony Wilson, director at the Institute for Employment Studies.

“If firms can’t meet demand because they have to fill jobs, it might mean they have to pay people more to fill those jobs or… close their business down because they can’t cope.

“It impacts overall productivity and might also mean less competition,” he adds.

One of the reasons why the UK economy has been…

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This article was written by and originally published on www.bbc.co.uk