UK workers told more than 1.4 billion lies to their bosses in 2004, with 68 per cent of employees admitting to telling untruths at least once a week.
The total UK workforce stands at about 30 million people so this equates to almost 47 lies per person.
Research by Cyberslotz.co.uk, an online games website, found that pulling a "sickie" and lying about reasons for arriving late for work, were the most common untruths told by employees, with 37 per cent telling fibs such as: "The train was cancelled", or: "The car wouldn't start", or even saying that a family pet had died.
The survey suggested that many workers felt that they had no option other than to lie about their private lives to bosses.
One third claimed that they would blatantly lie to their boss if asked: "What did you do last night?"
Of those who admitted to lying about their personal lives to their employer, the activities they were covering up, believing that it would affect career progression, were:
- drinking too much after work (20 per cent)
- an occasional flutter (16 per cent)
- a fling with a work colleague (9 per cent)
- being in an open relationship (5 per cent)
- losing their driving licence (2 per cent)
- being arrested (4 per cent).