What are the worst excuses to call in sick?

Alexandra Sanpera · 04 Feb

With the first Monday of February traditionally being the day when the greatest amount of employees call in sick, Perkbox has commissioned research to uncover what the worst excuses for pulling a sickie are this year, polling 1,005 working Brits. Only 20 per cent were revealed to have never pulled a sickie before, according to the research.

44 per cent of those surveyed believe that the ‘sickie’ culture may be heightened by employees who have a zero work ethic and are abusing the system. After all, nearly one in 10 of those who were asked for proof of sickness last year faked it and nearly a quarter believe having an awful relationship with their managers and/or colleagues may be a key reason why this behaviour arises in the first place.

On the flip side, nearly half of those polled believe the reason why employees pull sickies is because they are unhappy, depressed and overworked in their current jobs or in their private lives. Yet 12 per cent say pulling sickies has resulted in a complete loss of their employer’s trust, making the situation worse. Perhaps that’s why 14 per cent of those who got caught last year, decided to confess the truth.

Hannah Sims, Product Manager at Perkbox Medical says: “UK employees aren’t hard wired to be deceptive, or to skive off work. “Sickies” result from a lack of engagement in the work employees do or in the business they work for, and are often telling of more serious issues.

“Having and enforcing a clear sick leave policy not only makes legal sense and allows you and your business to track absenteeism, it also means you can keep a pulse of your company’s health and signal to employees that you take their wellbeing seriously and are always looking for ways to proactively help them.”

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