More than nine in ten UK employees believe that their colleagues sometimes skip work when they are not really ill, and over a quarter believe that more than one in three workplace absences is not related to illness.
Aon Consulting's latest Employee Risk @ Work study, which surveyed 1,500 employees across the UK about their workplaces, found a number of indicators that not all sick leave may be due to genuine illness.
About 15 per cent of respondents said they believed that more than half of sick time is not genuine, and almost half employees (49 per cent) said more than 10 per cent is not due to real sickness.
Fortunately for employers, 37 per cent of responding workers reported no absences due to sickness in 2003. However, 21.5 per cent have taken more than six sick days during the period, and 8.4 per cent took off 21 days or more.