A massive five million workers have “pulled a sickie” in the past year

28th May 2015


It appears Britons have no problems when it comes to ‘pulling a sickie’ as new research from budget account provider thinkmoney.co.uk shows that more than a third of workers, equivalent to five million people, skipped work claiming to be ill in the past 12 months.

The top reasons cited for ducking work are feeling hungover, having a job interview, or just feeling that they can’t be bothered to drag themselves into the office. Workers in the North West and Scotland are the most likely to skip work because of a hangover.

In addition men are more likely to throw a sickie than women, with 42% of men who had taken time off ill admitting that they weren’t all genuine, compared to 30% of women. People aged 25-34 are most likely to lie about feeling unwell, the study reveals.

The UK has the second worst productivity record of the G7 leading Western industrial nations, with the gap growing between the UK and its major economic rivals, the US, Germany and France, according to the Office for National Statistics. Some 131m work days were lost to sickness in the UK in 2013, ONS figures show.

While many workers think nothing of feigning illness to go shopping or to an event, the fourth most common reason for taking a sick day was so people could take care of their child, the study shows.

Commenting on the results, thinkmoney’s Ian Williams, says: “In a fragile job market, pulling a sickie isn’t a good idea, particularly when someone is a bit hungover or just wants to have a lazy day in bed.

“On the other hand, it’s concerning that some workers feel forced to take a sick day to cover their childcare needs. In an age where people can work productively from home, employers should be able to support their workforce to manage work and their families.

“It’s interesting that Britain’s productivity has declined again when we are putting in more hours than many of our neighbours. As workers in this country battle to achieve an acceptable work-life balance, it’s worrying that people are lying about their health to reach this.”

Top reasons to pull a sickie


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