We are all guilty of “pulling a sickie” at work whether it be for lack of childcare or simply not wanting to go in and having a duvet day. All businesses are aware of this, hence why Human Resources have a procedure in place to record and monitor sickness absence.
Often those who are not genuine, tend to follow a specific pattern of either every Monday of each month or a Thursday or Friday is another popular choice as the latter does not cause too much hassle for the rest of the team or department.
According to a survey by ComRes for the BBC, the results showed that two in five people in the UK would be prepared to take a day off sick if they felt they needed a break. The majority of under 35’s would pull a “sickie” and 66% of all employees would not report a colleague who was off work without a good excuse.
I do not find those figures particularly shocking as we are all guilty in “pulling a sickie” throughout our careers. It is common practice, so much so the comedian Peter Kay does a realistic sketch about making sure you confirm that you are not going to be able to come in later the same day and that your voice is suitably affected to ensure the person on the phone fully believes the reason for calling in sick.
With regards to the 66% of employees who would not report a colleague, I believe the responsibility lies with the Human Resources department as patterns in behaviour such as sickness absence and overall performance are recorded and monitored regularly. Allowing Human Resources a way to predict or provide additional support to employees who do call in sick on a regular or frequent basis.