'National Sickie Day' could have cost employers £34m in lost productivity

3rd February 2015

The first Monday in February could potentially have cost UK employers up to £34m in lost productivity, according to a new survey.

Yesterday was known as National Sickie Day as it is statistically the worst day of the year for employee absenteeism. That’s based on research which showed that as many as 375,000 workers were tempted to call in sick.

A report by The Fine Bedding Company suggests that, for 38 per cent of UK employees, the weather is the primary reason for wanting to take the day off work.

The second most popular reason was actually feeling under the weather; with more than a third of adults currently suffering with seasonal fatigue, coughs and flu.

Completing the top three excuses was a hangover, with those completing a ‘dry’ January enjoying a fun-filled weekend of festivities and feeling a little bit delicate.

Sally Jesson, of The Fine Bedding Company, said: “Post-Christmas blues, seasonal ailments, the wintery weather, financial woes and a long wait for the next holiday are all top reasons for the UK’s lack of motivation to turn into work.”

Last year, business advisors ELAS calculated that British businesses lost a minimum of £34 million in terms of productivity during this time period, and figures suggest more employees were likely to have taken time off yesterday than in 2014.

Some of the more outlandish excuses for skipping work yesterday included:

  • “I’ve accidently locked myself in the bathroom and I have to wait until someone with a key to the house can come round to let me out.”

  • “I’ve accidently sent my uniform to the charity shop so I need to go and buy it back.”

  • “My plastic surgery has gone wrong and I need to go and get it fixed.”

  • “I thought it was a bank holiday and I’m 500 miles away.”

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