Letter: Youthful advantage

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The Independent Online
Sir: I am intrigued to learn ('Staff of Japanese firms in UK take less sick leave', 11 March), that Japanese companies have a lower rate of absenteeism than the national average.

Before we leap to the conclusion that Japanese working practices are the answer to all our ills, however, perhaps we should consider one crucial factor not mentioned in your report. Most Japanese companies are recently established, and have been free to recruit from an abundant, young and healthy workforce. Unless other employers were in the same position, the comparison must be misleading.

Yours sincerely,

PETER BURKE

Marsh Baldon, Oxford

12 March

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