If you’re finding yourself feeling a bit lonely at work today (6/2/17) you may not be the only one, for today is National Sickie Day! Needing to arrange a birthday party for a dog and not having any clean trousers were among the worst excuses given for an absence from work last year.
This has been stated by employment law experts ELAS, who have compiled the most spectacular excuses heard by bosses in order to celebrate this year’s National Sickie Day. This annual event falls on the first Monday in February and marks the worst day of the year for absenteeism. 350,000 people are expected to call in sick this year and the ELAS expects today’s absences to cost the UK economy around £45m in wages, lost hours and overtime. It has advised employers that they are perfectly entitled to challenge the authenticity of an absence.
Among the worst excuses heard by bosses last year were employees claiming the dog ate their shoes, they were too drunk to drive and that they could not make it to work because they had been arrested.
2015’s most outrageous excuses included an employee claiming they had locked themselves in their bathroom, and a worker from Glasgow saying they missed their stop and could not get off the train until they reached London.
“These excuses might sound weird and wonderful but they are all genuine reasons we have from our clients over the last year,” said Emma O’Leary, an employment law consultant at ELAS. “As an employer, you are perfectly entitled to challenge the authenticity of an absence; if an excuse seems too far-fetched then ask for evidence if appropriate. If you notice a pattern emerging, then you should speak to the employee about their poor attendance and take proactive steps to action it.”
It has been claimed that many employees shirk work at the start of February because they are attending a job interview. After using the Christmas holidays as an opportunity to re-evaluate their life and think about their job prospects, workers who are unhappy with their role often spend January considering their next move and then begin the interviewing process for new jobs in February.