National 'Pull a Sickie' Day

By: Mitrefinch Limited  17/01/2011
Keywords: workforce management, Attendance, time and attendance

  A popular TV channel named 17th January 2011 a National Sickie Day, which is thought to be the most likely day for British employees to pull ‘sickies’. But according to studies in recent years, it’s actually the first monday of February which is believed to be the day when employee absenteeism rate hits the highest figure each year. Up to 350,000 employees are expected to ring, text or email their bosses on 7th February and make their excuses, which will cost businesses more than 30 million pounds. They will have various reasons to add another day into their weekend: post-Christmas blues, miserable weather, a long wait until the next Bank Holiday and reluctance to take annual leave will persuade them to stay at home. They will also use a wide range of excuses including typical ones like flu/cold, strong headache, food poisoning, but also more original ones including a man who said he couldn’t make it in to work as his road was too busy to cross and another man who said his relative was supposed to die at the weekend but had not. Other research indicates that bosses are becoming too soft on their staff.  25% of them said they now accept emails or texts from staff to inform them they are ill rather than the traditional phone call, making it easier for fakers to lie. Telephone conversation has always been an easier way for bosses to judge whether staff members are bluffing or genuinely ill. Allowing people to send a text or email creates more opportunities to abuse the system. This should be particularly concerning to bosses in the northern part of England. According to studies, this region has the most reason to fear absenteeism during the winter months. Workers from Liverpool admit taking up to 13 unofficial days off a year, compared with three days in London. What does your company do to reduce your employees’ absence rate? To tackle the problem, some companies introduce ‘duvet days’, where an employee is allowed to take a day off with no prior notice given. He or she can get up in the morning and decide not to go to work for any reason. If this is not an option for your style of employee management, read our next post to learn what else you could do!                   

Keywords: Attendance, employee management, Staff Management, time and attendance, time and attendance software, time and attendance system, workforce management