Stress and disengagement blamed for ‘sickie’ culture

Two in five employees have pulled a sickie in the last year and half, and a million have pulled more than eight, with stress, ‘couldn’t be bothered working’ and hangovers the top reasons for absence, a new report claims. According to research conducted by Citation, 41 percent of employees confessed to pulling at least one sickie in the last year, and 18 to 24-year-olds were markedly more likely to pull a sickie than any other age group, with just under two thirds (6 percent) admitting to doing so. Just 12 percent of employees aged 65+ said they had lied about an illness in the last year. Men are twice as likely as women to pull a sickie because they are hungover, and women are almost 10 percent more likely pull a sickie because they are feeling stressed.

Interestingly, employees aged over 65 were six times more likely than the average to pull a sickie because they were being bullied, with 33 percent saying they had done so.

Those aged 25 to 44-years-old were the main culprits for calling in sick to cover a hangover. Concerningly, of the two in five employees who have pulled a sickie, the vast majority (86 percent) said they had never been caught out. With a 7 percent lower conviction rate, it would appear females are slightly more adept when it comes to fibbing their boss.

Citation’s HR Business Partner, Jenny Ware, commented: “Employees pulling sickies can be detrimental to businesses of any size. They’re costly, impede productivity and can have a negative impact on culture and morale.

“Perhaps more worrying are the reasons behind why employees feel they need to pull sickies. Management, bullying, stress and negative attitudes are damaging signs, and are critical areas all businesses need to address.”