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Monday is most common day for sickness

9th November 2009

A study of employee records for 11,000 staff by consultants Mercer has found that more than a third of all sick days occur on a Monday.

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The researchers also discovered that January was the month when the highest number of sick days occurred.

The data showed that in January, on average, sick leave equated to 0.5 days per employee in 2008.

On 3 and 4 January last year (Thursday and Friday) nearly 5% of the overall staff population had taken a sick day.

Six of the most prevalent sick days happened between 2 to 9 January.

35% of absence from work occurred on Monday. However, the lowest number of sick days were taken on a Friday, with only 3% recorded.

Back pain and muscular problems made up nearly a quarter (24%) of the reasons for employees taking a sick day.

Female staff took 24% more sick days than male workers and had double the likelihood of taking time off for depression or stress.

Researcher Phiroze Bilimoria said: "Monday sickness and frequent short-term absences can be a symptom of low employee engagement and morale within certain teams or departments."

Professor Cary Cooper, an occupational health psychologist at the University of Lancaster, said: "Some employees may feel the weekend is not enough so they take the extra day. But I suspect what is happening is people are lying about their reason for sickness absence."

 

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