Matt Hancock Urges ‘Peculiar’ Brits To Stop Going To Work When Sick


Matt Hancock Urges 'Peculiar' Brits To Stop Going To Work When SickPA Images

The health secretary Matt Hancock has warned that Brits should stop ‘soldiering on’ and going into work when they’re sick, once the pandemic is over with.

He said people in the UK are ‘peculiarly unusual and outliers’ for still braving it into work despite being ill, because of the culture that is set out in our work places.


Hancock made the comments during a joint session of the Health and Social Care and the Science and Technology committees.

Brits Will Be Offered Freedom Pass In Exchange For Frequent Testing Next MonthPA Images

The health secretary told MPs that once the pandemic is over, he would like to see mass testing used for other illnesses, such a flu, to continue to protect the health of the public.

As it stands, the UK can carry out some 500,000 coronavirus tests a day, with that number set to be doubled next year when new labs are opened.


Now, Hancock wants to see the ‘global scale diagnostics capability’ to be put to good use in post-pandemic Britain.

‘Afterwards we must use it, not just for coronavirus, but everything,’ he said, as per BBC News.

More Than 170,000 People Sign Up For NHS Volunteer Scheme In Just A Few HoursPA Images

‘I want to have a change in the British way of doing things where “if in doubt, get a test” doesn’t just refer to coronavirus but refers to any illness that you might have.’


Hancock added:

Why in Britain do we think it’s acceptable to soldier on and go into work if you have flu symptoms or a runny nose, thus making your colleagues ill?

I think that’s something that is going to have to change.

The health secretary pointed out that we, as a nation, could continue to protect vulnerable members of our society by going for a test if we experience any flu-like symptoms, adding that we should still stay at home if we are sick.

Matt Hancock Urges 'Peculiar' Brits To Stop Going To Work When SickPexels

‘We are peculiarly unusual and outliers in soldiering on and still going to work, and it kind of being the culture that “as long as you can get out of bed you still should get into work.” That should change,’ he said.

‘This year there’s been far fewer respiratory and other communicable diseases turning up in the NHS.

‘I want this massive diagnostics capacity to be core to how we treat people in the NHS so that we help people to stay healthy in the first place, rather than just looking after them when they’re ill.’

While work places all over the UK have been forced to adapt, with many people now working from the home instead of the office, let’s hope that sick day culture is also among the changes we can expect to see, post-pandemic.


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Topics: Health, Coronavirus, COVID-19, matt hancock, Now


  1. BBC

    Don't go to work when sick, 'peculiar' Brits told

Emma Rosemurgey
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