As ‘pulling a sickie’ becomes ever more prominent in organisations across the UK, we take a journey down ‘sickie’ lane to identify the trends that are emerging among British employees this year.

You probably already know that stress is the most common cause of absence or that councils are the most affected by rising absence rates. Instead, we take a look at 5 staff absence facts you probably didn’t know (and to be mindful of!)

Most sick days are taken in November

Even National Sickie Day and Blue Monday can’t compete with a pre-Christmas Monday off work. According to research, the last Monday in November is the most popular day for employees to call in sick, followed the first day of March and the first day of November. In fact, November is the worst month overall for unplanned absence.

Monday is the most popular sick day

Is it any surprise? New research of SMEs found that Monday is the day of the week that employees are most likely to pull a sickie.  Monday has the highest call-in rate, at 61%, followed by a Friday (20%). 60% of bosses claim they don’t believe employees who call in absent on a Monday.

Larger firms have higher sickness rates

Organisations with more than 250 employees are more likely to have ‘significant’ absence issues than their smaller counterparts, with employees taking an average of 7.5 sick days per year. By contrast, businesses with 9 or less employees see their workers taking just 2.8 days of sick leave a year.

UK employees pull the most sickies

Over a quarter of UK employees feel it’s acceptable to pull a sickie at work, which is more than the European average of 21%. The study, which surveyed workers in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and the UK, found that of those Brits who believe calling in sick (when they are not) is ok, 85% think it’s reasonable to do so at least twice per year.

Employees in Scotland take the most sick days

Delving further into the above, a recent survey suggests that employees in Scotland were the biggest culprits, with 38% admitting to pulling an unwarranted sickie, closely followed by staff in the south west, on 36%. On the other end of the scale, the north east boasts the lowest number of employees who faked a sick day.

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For any queries, call Steve on 01252 636 070 or email