Quarter of UK Workers Call in Sick with Fake Excuses
Employers share the most unusual reasons employees used to explain an absence.
A nationwide survey by jobs website CareerBuilder found 26% of UK workers pulled at least one sickie last year. Seven% called in sick when they were well three times or more with some resorting to a host of bizarre excuses to dodge work including being trapped under a collapsed bed, losing a glass eye and drinking “bad beer.”
Of those who called in sick:
- 16% “just didn’t feel like going into work.”
- 13% had a job interview lined up.
- 12% wanted to catch up with housework or just to relax.
- 7% said they wanted to avoid a client or colleague.
- 6% to dodge the wrath of a boss.
- 6% called in because of bad weather or they had plans with friends or family.
However, there was evidence that some employers are taking a tough line with those feigning illness. Almost a third (29%) of employers said they have fired an employee for missing work without a legitimate excuse.
The survey of 480 workers and 250 employers also found staff were not averse to using desperate or far-fetched reasons to bunk off.
When asked to share the most unusual excuses employees gave for missing work, employers offered the following real-life examples:
- My glass eye fell out and I can’t find it.
- My body needs to adjust to the climate change.
- My bed broke and I’m trapped under it.
- I rode my bike into a lamppost.
- I had some bad beer.
- My toenails are too long for shoes and I couldn’t find a clipper.
- I forgot to buy an alarm clock.
- My house won’t let me out, I’m locked in.
- My sink is blocked.
- I got pepper in my eye.
“Smaller staffs, increased workloads and longer hours are byproducts of a dampened economy,”
said Jason Ferrara, Senior Career Advisor for CareerBuilder.
“We see more employers today expanding the definition of sick time for workers who need a day off to recharge, so your best bet is to be honest with your boss.”