Although a third of UK workers admit to having pulled a sickie, a worrying 55% soldier on when ill due to anxiety over what their boss or colleagues will think.
According to a survey conducted among 2,000 employees by insurance comparison website Confused.com, some 35% admitted lying to their manager over why they had missed work, with the most popular excuses being flu, stomach aches, diarrhoea or a bad back. The most common sectors for people to throw a sickie were call centres (54%), utilities (47%), the voluntary sector (45%), health (43%) and fashion and design (42%). But there were regional differences too. Personnel in East Anglia were most likely to fib to their boss about why they weren’t at work (40%), followed by people in the East Midlands (38%) and the South East, Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East, all of which tied in third place (37%). But Matt Lloyd, Confused.com’s head of life insurance, warned that the culture of turning up at work when ill, due primarily to a lack of job security, posed more of a threat to employers than pulling a sickie. “It is very worrying that workers are not prioritising their own health and feel that they cannot take a day off sick when they are genuinely unwell,” he said. The research indicated what women (64%) were more likely to worry about taking time off sick than men (47%) due to fears that their boss wouldn’t believe the reasons behind their absence.