National Sick Day

6 February 2017

The first Monday in February is known as “National Sickie Day”, traditionally today has the highest number of workers phone in sick with an estimated 375,000 workers taking the day off.

According to the Daily Telegraph, 2016s best excuses were:-
-  “I accidentally locked myself in the bathroom and have to wait until someone with a key to the house can come round to let me out.”
-  “I accidentally sent my uniform to the charity shop so need to go and buy it back.
-  “My plastic surgery has gone wrong, I need to go and get it fixed.”
-  “I thought it was a bank holiday today and I’m 500 miles away.”
-  “I missed the stop on my train this morning and can’t get off the train now until London.” – a worker from Glasgow.

So, why do people actually phone in sick?

Being absent from work can be more than just wanting a day in bed.  Many people feel overworked or stressed and need a break and others are actually unwell with a winter bug.

Many employees can feel obliged to come to work to meet targets, avoid return to work interviews or hit an absence management trigger.

If an employee has a cold or virus comes to work rather than phoning in sick, they are likely to not only increase the length of time it takes them to get better but, infect those around them, leading to more absences.  For employees coming to work whilst unwell, even if not infecting others, their concentrate will be substantially reduced and without a day or two in bed, a reduced performance level could last several days.

One positive growing trend is that while the number of people calling in sick increases, the actual number of days they are taking off work is falling.  According to ACAS, this is because “the faltering economy prompts managers to address problems of absenteeism more

Employers are entitled to challenge the authenticity of an absence – if an excuse seems too far-fetched then ask for evidence, if appropriate.  If a pattern is emerging, speak to the employee about their poor attendance and take proactive steps to address it.