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Sick days cost UK economy billions

18th July 2011

A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey has revealed that one third of workers take sick days when they are not unwell.

Pound Sign

The survey showed that the cost to the UK economy of the unnecessary sick days was around £32 billion.

Workers who took "sickies" said hangovers and fine weather were the main reasons for their days off.

The survey showed 40% of staff even prepared for their intended sick day by making up symptoms while they were at work.

PwC surveyed 1,190 workers and found that 34% admitted to taking sick days when they did not need to.

Around 15% of those polled said that they deserved their time off and around a fifth gave family as the real reason they took time off.

"Absenteeism costs British business around £32bn a year, but our findings suggest a large chunk of this loss is preventable," said Neil Roden, a partner at PwC.

"Introducing or enhancing flexible working arrangements can make a difference. Ensuring people feel they're not taken for granted is also important. Some 15% of those who provided false excuses felt they deserved the time." 

 

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