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British employers have long discouraged staff from taking sick days. Will coronavirus change that?

David Cameron condemned the UK’s “sicknote culture” as a drain on resources, while 42 per cent of managers think having the flu isn't a valid excuse to skip work. This needs to change

By Arianne Shahvisi  

In October last year, I swayed on my feet, sweating, before a packed room of academics and students. My lungs felt bruised and ticklish with each ragged breath, my limbs beamed with soreness. A few days into a bout of influenza, I was about to give an hour-long talk about my research. Coughing and spluttering in a poorly ventilated room, I somehow got through the presentation and the subsequent hour…

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