Over 400,000 workers plan to take a World Cup ‘sickie’, costing employers nearly £40m

Over 400,000 workers in Great Britain will take at least one bogus sick day off work during the World Cup, according to a survey commissioned by Randstad, one of the world’s largest recruitment and HR services firms.

The survey by YouGov found that 403,000 GB workers* were planning to take at least one ‘sickie’ during the World Cup. Based on data from the CBI this would cost employers over £37m.

Diane Martyn, CEO of Randstad Staffing, said: “According to the research, it appears that many organisations, particularly those that are tightly resourced, will be suffering during the World Cup period.  It is likely that employees will be taking ‘sickies’ or coming in late, taking long lunch breaks or trying to leave early to watch matches. 

“Given the fragile state of the labour market, many organisations will be surprised that so many employees are prepared to go to such lengths to watch the football.

“Employers will have to ensure that their sick-leave procedures are clearly communicated to their staff.  They will need to plan effectively to ensure projects are resourced at normal levels: either through adopting flexible working practices or by engaging temporary workers. 

“As well as this, organisations could also look at ways to leverage the World Cup to their benefit – the tournament provides a great opportunity for staff to engage with their clients and customers and can help build employee morale and encourage teamwork.”

“Allowing employers to express their emotions, get excited about the football spectacle and be passionate about the World Cup can also have a positive influence on morale.”

Earlier this month, a survey by the CBI of senior HR staff found that bogus sick days remained a problem for public and private sector organisations. The survey estimated that around 15 per cent, or 27 million sick days last year, were not genuine.

This was despite the average number of sick days per employee falling to its lowest level since 1987 at 6.4 days each.

Survey methodology

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2206 adults, of which 1306 were workers. Fieldwork was undertaken between 14th – 16th June 2010.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Comments are closed.