On the box

Posted by Gary on January 30, 2003

In Reply to: On the box posted by Michael on January 30, 2003

: What is the origin of the phrase "on the box", meaning off work sick. Thanks.

'The box' was where Friendly Societies kept the money to pay workers who were off sick; likewise Trades Unions for workers on strike. Originated in the North of England in late 19th century.