We’re just six weeks away from Christmas, which means corporate and personal party invites will start rolling in, leading to an inevitable increase in food and alcohol consumption.
Of course, this time of the year also brings with it shorter days and frosty weather, so it’s probable work will get in the way of all that hibernating and merrymaking you’d like to do.
Sickness management software provider Activ Absence has released some timely research that lists the 20 most ridiculous sick day excuses that HR managers have encountered.
The top reason was “I don’t have the bus fare to get to work after my night out”, which is said to have had the team were left shaking their heads in disbelief.
Appreciate the honesty, but that’s probably one to avoid if you have been on a festive session – if you value your job.
Rounding off the top three, the other silliest excuses were “I dreamed I had come to work, so thought I was there and stayed asleep!” and “I went on a sunbed and got sunstroke”.
British workers have even put the blamed on sporting results, Manchester United was responsible in that case, sexual injuries and pets – poor hamster.
One individual even had the shameless excuse of “my bed was too nice to get out of”, while an even riskier reason was “my boss has given me a headache”.
Pet ‘emergencies’ were also high on the list – and not just emergency visits to the vet, with one employee demanding two weeks bereavement leave after the death of his pet cat and another taking a day off because his ‘hamster seemed sluggish’.
Naughty animals also seem to take the blame for many a late day or sickie, with excuses ranging from exotic animal bites to dogs fouling work clothes and eating car keys.
Activ heard a whole host of unusual injuries and ailments, from post coital injuries to bangs and scrapes – though perhaps the bravest excuse was ‘my boss has given me a headache!’
Absent minds also featured – forgetting where one parked one’s car, not washing work clothes, or losing shoes en route to work always seem to be common excuses.
Adrian Lewis, director, Activ Absence, said: “We can all laugh at some of the ridiculous excuses we’ve heard, and the bare faced cheek of some people who use the death of the same grandmother four times in a row, and even smile at the laddish humour of those who dare to phone in sick because their football team lost.
“However, the fact is, sickness absence is a serious matter that costs the UK £29bn a year and, in the midst of a fragile economic recovery, that is money that is desperately needed by UK businesses to protect jobs and to enable us to compete on an international playing field that is sadly driven by cheap overseas labour and unethical work practices.
“Tackling absence certainly doesn’t require a big stick and a stern HR presence but it does require better processes and technology to help HR managers get on top of their absence management and be able to analyse the root causes of problems.”
Check out the top 20 excuses below:
1. I don’t have the bus fare to get to work after my night out
2. I dreamed I had come to work, so thought I was there and stayed asleep
3. I went on a sunbed and got sunstroke
4. I lost my flipflop down the side of a train, so I had to go home
5. I didn’t have any clean clothes
6. My bed was too nice to get out of
7. Man U lost the premiership
8. I lost my car in the car park (there were only 20 spaces)
9. My television broke
10. The roof blew off my house
11. Goats got into my garden
12. I have a cotton bud stuck in my ear
13. Fell out of bed and banged my head
14. I have post coital soreness
15. I got bitten by a llama
16. My dog got lost in the snow
17. My cat had a miscarriage
18. The dog urinated on my suit
19. My dog ate my car keys
20. I don’t think my hamster is well, he seems a bit sluggish this morning