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Wednesday 7th December 2016
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'Sickies' cost economy £1.6bn

10th April 2007

New research suggests 12% of all work absences are due to ‘sickies’.

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The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) research found that UK bosses suspect up to one in eight sick days are faked and it said measures must be taken to clamp down on the practise which is costing the economy £1.6bn annually.  Many employees are suspected of faking illness on a Monday or Friday to extend their weekend and managers also reported a correlation between workplace absences and major sporting events. The CBI found that the national average sick leave was seven days per employee which equates to the loss of 175 million working days every year. Public sector workers lost the highest number of working days due to illness – taking an average of nine days annually. 

Susan Anderson, the CBI’s director of human resources policy, said that in cases of genuine illness it was in no one’s interests for a person to attend work. "Everybody gets sick and employers understand that most absence is genuine … but there is a culture of absenteeism in some workplaces that must be addressed," she said.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) responded to the survey by saying that many employees continued to work when they were genuinely ill because of the unsympathetic attitude of their bosses.  They recommend every organisation should implement a sickness policy which does not discriminate against those who are genuinely ill and deals fairly with those who abuse the system.

 

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