Nearly a third of the nation, (a reasonably weighty 32 percent) have taken a fake sick day this year, according to a new study released by Actimel. Whilst the top reason for women pulling a sickie was due to feeling under pressure with their workload (41 percent), over a quarter of men (27 percent) attributed their fake sick day to recover from a hangover following a heavy drinking session the night before. Surprisingly, also a fifth of men (20 percent) admitted they felt bored with their jobs, warranting them time to lounge around at home.

Instead of heading into the office, the nation would much rather watch the television, with 84 percent admitting they love day-time TV.

  • Over half of the UK (53 percent) binge on Netflix
  • Nearly a fifth of men (18 percent) meet up with friends
  • 1 in 5 of Scots (23 percent) say taking a sick day ‘gives them a thrill’
  • 17 percent of Londoners chill in a café to pass the time
  • 93 percent of women are too nervous to leave the house in case someone catches them
  • 18 percent of men obviously have a lot to catch up on as they admit pulling a sickie to get on with life admin. This is the same for a quarter of people in Northern Ireland (25%)

However, six in ten said they feel guilty for taking fake days off but feel ‘it’s totally worth it’, where-as Londoners (38 percent) admit they ‘weren’t bothered’ about not turning up for a day’s work every now and then.

Even though ‘pulling a sickie’ seems to be quite popular, over two thirds of the nation (67 percent) do in fact go into the office when feeling genuinely under the weather even if they’re infectious, with over three quarters (76 percent) of Londoners preferring to get on with their work rather than getting better with bed rest.

Women are more likely than men to take one or more days off to get better (68 percent versus 60 percent) but it’s the 25-34 year olds who come out tops for taking genuine sick days (72 percent). As with fake sick days, even when we’re genuinely ill over 1 in 3 (39 percent) still feel guilty for taking the time off, with nearly a third (32%) worrying they are letting their colleagues down and over a quarter (29 percent) anxious that their boss will question their commitment.

1 in 4 of those who did venture into the office when under the weather said this is due to having too much work and no one to cover them. This was highest again in the 25-34 year old category, with 50 percent of those being in mid-level, management roles.





Robert joined the HRreview editorial team in October 2015. After graduating from the University of Salford in 2009 with a BA in Politics, Robert has spent several years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past he has been part of editorial teams at Flux Magazine, Mondo*Arc Magazine and The Marine Professional.