Your boss is more likely to be sympathetic about sickness absence than your colleagues

UK bosses are more sympathetic than their employees when it comes to sickness absence, research has revealed.

A survey conducted by employment consultancy Croner found nine in 10 employers accept colds and flu as a suitable reason for taking a day off, as opposed to eight in 10 employees.

Similarly, 77% of employers considered migraines to be a reasonable reason for calling in sick, compared to 65% of employees.

An earlier survey by the CBI and insurer AXA revealed that managers suspect that 12% of absences last year involved staff ‘pulling a sickie’.

This translated into a loss of 21 million days at a cost of £1.6bn to the economy.

In line with the CBI research, Croner also found that one in three UK workers admitted to having exaggerated sickness to justify taking time off work.

It points to a lack of comprehensive workplace sickness policies and failed communication processes with employees, urging firms to implement policies, including back-to-work interviews.

Gillian Dowling, employment technical consultant at Croner, said: “Employers should implement a comprehensive sickness policy which should clearly set out the procedures for recording and reporting sickness absence and managing short- and long-term absence.

“Well thought out and communicated sickness policies will not only reduce unauthorised absences, they will have a positive effect on team morale and the overall health and wellbeing in the workplace, which will ultimately boost productivity,” she said.

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