SEOUL, Dec. 13 (Korea Bizwire) – At least half of the workers holding down service jobs in the retail sector have reported to work despite feeling unwell, a survey has found.
Working while sick was one topic of discussion that was held among National Assembly politicians on December 13, during which the results of a fact-finding study into the welfare of service workers in sales and retail were disclosed.
Also revealed during the discussion were the findings from a survey with 2,204 participants who were working at retail stores in sales and service roles.
Of those surveyed, 29.5 percent stated that they had become sick from work. Among these individuals, 39.2 percent described their ailment as “an illness that requires continuous treatment and visits to the hospital” and 18.4 percent said they had to be hospitalized.
In addition, 49 percent of the participants who revealed that they had become sick from work said they had reported to their job even when feeling under the weather. The average accumulated period that this group had done so was 5.2 days.
Another 25 percent said they taken sick leave, and the average time missed due to illness was 4.7 days.
A member of the Korea Labour and Research Institute who took part in the discussion held in Yeouido pointed out that long working hours and the resulting lack of work-life balance were behind service workers’ woes.
Service workers take an average 8.4 days off per year and work 46 hours every week. Leave days remain largely unspent, with 55.1 percent being used.
Health problems were commonly reported among service workers, with 35.4 percent having at least one physical malady. Herniated disks were the most common, comprising 24.1 percent of all discomforts.
The majority of the health problems are caused by long periods spent standing and infrequent use of the bathroom, according to Kim Jong-jin, a senior researcher at the Korea Labour and Research Institute. He emphasized that work conditions must improve and said the government must step in to instigate change.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)