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Sickness benefit claimants growing faster for women

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The number of women claiming sickness benefit is growing much faster than the rate of men doing the same.

Analysis carried out by Legal & General based on statistics from the Department of Work and Pensions looked at cases between February last year and the same month this year.

In that period claims from women increased by 39 per cent while those from men only went up by 26 per cent.

Many workers are feeling the pressures of a bigger workload with fewer staff due to budget cuts during the economic downturn.

On top of this the numbers of people unemployed have gone up with 41,000 more women and 39,000 more men without jobs in the last quarter.

Sickness benefit replaces earnings when an employee is ill or disabled and anyone claiming it will be assessed on their need for it at some point in the process.

Diane Buckley, managing director of Legal & General Group Protection, told HR Magazine: “These figures show that some employers are struggling to cope with their staff’s illnesses at work and just how important it is to provide good quality support for women in the workplace.”