Younger staff are guilty of pulling the most ‘sickies’

Thirty-five per cent of UK workers believe it is acceptable to take a day
off – even if they are not sick.

The figures soar for younger workers, with 55 per cent of those aged 15 to
24 thinking ‘throwing a sickie’ is fair, while 71 per cent of male workers
believe it is alright to dodge work.

A survey of 975 workers by Crown Computing also found that single people are
the most likely to fake illness, while widowed or divorced people are the most

The events that lead to people taking a sickie are fairly predictable.
Hangovers top the chart, followed by sunny days, birthdays, time with a loved
one, school holidays and to meet with friends also bunking off work.

But employees should be take care. A separate Crown Computing survey shows
that 92 per cent of firms are taking a harder line on absence – largely in
response to tougher economic times.

Of the 240 HR managers surveyed, 56 per cent favour imposing penalties, such
as docking pay, to control the problem, with 44 per cent opting to reward good
attendance with bonuses.

Other methods identified by HR managers to help address attendance problems
include insisting on return-to-work interviews after long periods of absence,
flexible working and senior management involvement.

Mike Hawkesford, managing director at Crown Computing, said: "While the
maxim ‘you can’t manage what you can’t measure’ holds true, there is also a
need to take that further, and manage as and when you measure."

By Quentin Reade

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