Learning English - Words in the News
02 May, 2005 - Published 12:00 GMT
Royal Mail prize for coming to work
Britain's Royal Mail service says a plan to cut the number of sick days taken by its staff has been a great success. Workers are rewarded with prizes, including new cars, for turning up at work reliably. This report from Steve Jackson:
In some countries, taking lots of days off work sick would get you fired and the idea of offering prizes for good attendance would be little more than a joke. But absenteeism has become a big problem in Britain, where the employment laws offer protection to sick workers, but don't enable employers to distinguish between the genuinely ill and those who are pretending.
Last year, British businesses lost more than twenty-two billion dollars because of workers taking days off sick. When the Royal Mail announced a scheme to enter reliable workers into a prize draw, it was greeted with some scepticism. But one year on, the company has proclaimed it a success. Thirty-seven Royal Mail workers have won a car for good attendance and thousands of others have been given vouchers allowing them to take cheap holidays.
get you fired
to distinguish between
a prize draw
greeted with some scepticism
one year on
proclaimed it a success