New research suggests employees taking ‘sickies’ cost businesses £5.6 billion last year: but there is a bigger picture
Some interesting research in this week’s newsletter which in my view poses more questions than it answers. On the face of it the research from an office supplies company contends that UK workers who ‘lied’ to take time off sick from work cost businesses a whopping £5.6 billion last year.
The research says that employees reported that they weren’t actually sick for more than one in three of the sick days they took off last year, resulting in 51.9 million ‘fake’ sick days were being taken in 2019. The Office for National Statistics reported that sickness absences had fallen to an all-time low in 2017. With this in mind the researchers questioned 2,000 UK workers on changing attitudes towards sick days.
It revealed a trend, highlighting that lying to take sick days was more common among younger generations who at the same time felt more under pressure to avoid taking time off sick. Perhaps more interesting is what appears to be changing attitudes among younger employees of taking time off due to mental health with on in three saying this should be treated ‘separately’ to ‘regular’ sick days with just one in ten older workers agreeing.
As I said this research while interesting is in my view flawed and poses more questions than it answers. Fortunately for those looking for those answers just six weeks from now we have our Employee Wellbeing and Digital Workplace conferences being held in tandem on March 12. Look forward to seeing you there.