31 years on the job and not one sick day

Jean Hague, a care worker with Essex Cares Ltd (ECL) (and prior to its creation, Essex County Council) has worked for the company since 1987 looking after hundreds of people without taking one day’s sick leave.

Published on

Jean Hague with male older person, customer of ECL.

It may be hard to believe in an era of bad weather, flu epidemics and flexible schedules, that Jean hasn’t missed a day of work in decades. With the increase in flexible working, where the emphasis is on getting employees to do the best work without stressing attendance there are still some jobs, such as in health and social care where being present is vital.

Like many people who work in this sector, Jean says the main reason for her high attendance rate is the love and pride she takes in her job.

Years ago my job was shopping and housework. My husband had only just come out of the army. I had the two children. Money was tight. Then I went for my interview as a care worker on a Friday and started the following Monday. I got a dress [when I started], nice dress it was, checked garnet - buttons down the front. That was it, started the job.

I am 63 now, and I was 32 when I started. I just don't get sick, I haven’t got time to. I started getting the flu jab with my mum and carried on with my daughter. It doesn’t affect me and I’m sure it helps me, touch wood, to stay well.

Jean Hague, Care Worker, ECL

Jean liked her work from the very first day, despite being handed a bucket of water by one of the people she was to care for and told, ‘there you go, you can start cleaning the walls now’.

The stories she hears, from the man in Hadleigh who had fought in World War One showing her his bravery medal and telling her of his experiences and memories to an old colleague who she now cares for is the overarching reason she wants to continue. To listen to them, keep them company and care for them.

She hasn't any plans to retire...

I just like people, I don't think that I am ready to retire yet. I can't get my pension until I am 66. But I like what I am doing still.


Inspired by Jean and would consider a career in care? Your career starts here with ECL.

Please note: You must allow all cookies to be able to use the commenting feature on this site.