Record number to stay home on ‘national sickie day’

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pulling-a-sickie-at-workA record number of office workers will phone in sick on Monday as post-Christmas blues, the flu outbreak and financial worries cause 375,000 to join in “national sickie day”, according to a survey.

The first Monday in February is the day British workers are most likely to ring in sick with wintry weather, credit card bills and a long wait until the next holiday all contributing to the country’s malaise.

This year a combination of the worst spread of flu in a decade and an increasingly lenient attitude taken by managers mean more staff than ever before could “pulling a sickie”.

The cost to the economy in lost work and business opportunities, the cost of salaries and overtime payments, could be more than £32 million, according to business advisers ELAS.

As many as 375,000 workers are expected to take the day off, with half of the country’s bosses admitting they do not always believe those who phone in sick.

Peter Mooney, head of consultancy at ELAS, said: “With morale at rock bottom thanks to nearly three years of working in a stuttering economy, and with the worst flu outbreak in a decade providing a handy alibi, we expect absenteeism to soar this winter.

“Meanwhile, more and more bosses have drifted into accepting text messages and emails as confirmation that staff will not be heading into work – making it much easier for staff to get away with taking a duvet day.”

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One Comment - Write a Comment

  1. Workers cannot win, they are told on the one hand that they are ‘swinging the lead’ if they don’t attend work when they are ill and yet on the other hand by attending they are not only prolonging the illness and infecting their colleagues leading to higher illness rates as the infection spreads around open plan, air conditioned offices. Also they are then informed to stay away by experts such as below;
    ‘Experts have warned people suffering from bugs not to spread infection by going into work, and Dr Michael Dixon, GP and Chairman of the NHS Alliance, said:

    “When it comes to a cold or the flu, we’re at our most contagious at the first sneeze. However, at this stage the damage to the people around us has often already been done – the incubation period for the virus can be up to two days before symptoms occur.

    “Employees and employers should be diligent over the next few weeks, the peak season for cold and flu, in preventing the spread of infection and should employ the NHS ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ policy.

    “If you’re suffering from cold and flu symptoms, you should stay at home, rest, drink plenty of fluids to help increase your recovery time and prevent the spread of infection.”

    dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t it seems to me!

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