The surprising reasons behind fake sick days

Hungover male employee

With the long weekend fast approaching business owners are bracing themselves for the dreaded “sickie” phone calls, however a new report has revealed the most common reason for faking a sick day is not what many would assume.

Despite popular belief, nursing a hangover isn’t the most common reason employees pull bogus “sickies”, it’s more likely they’ll need the day off to care for someone else.

According to the Robert Walters Employee Insights survey, 47 percent of employees admitted they called in sick to look after a family member or friend, 33 percent needed time to attend to personal errands and 28 percent needed a ‘mental health‟ day.

Just eight percent of people surveyed said they called in sick to recover from a big night or weekend.

Robert Walters managing director James Nicholson believes employees should only take sick days when they’re unwell, but recognises sometimes time off is required for personal reasons. He suggests employees make these reasons known to their employer, rather than lying about being ill.

“Organisations should be reviewing their leave policies to ensure their staff are aware of their leave entitlements, while encourage open and communication to ensure their staff are supported when they’re facing personal issues,” Nicholson said.

The survey also found 63 percent of employees would take less sick days if they had more flexible working hours.

A further 10 percent said they called in sick because they disliked their job and 1 percent took a day off because they disliked their colleagues or management.

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