Number of people taking sickies rises

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of employees who are ‘pulling sickies’, according to new figures.

The survey by law firm Peninsula polled 1,000 employers and 927 employees from a range of industries and found that 94% of staff admitted to taking unwarranted time off, compared to 62% in the same survey in 1998.

Also, 92% of employers (compared to 71% in 1998) now say pulling sickies is a problem in their companies and that they are finding it increasingly difficult to identify genuine absence from those simply skiving.

Despite growing concerns, fewer companies are taking steps to combat the problem. Only 54% said they had rules to combat skiving from work, compared to 60% in 1998.

Peter Done, managing director of Peninsula, said skivers were milking millions of pounds out of companies each year.

“It is not a problem which can be solved overnight,” he said.

“It has to be implemented over time with both strict policies for absence and disciplinary procedures for those who have a running tendency to be absent through skiving.”

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