From stomach bugs to sick pets – the big lies we tell our bosses for a day in bed

From complaining about a migraine to lamenting the poor health of their pet bunnies, three-quarters of British workers have taken a day off with a “fake emergency” during the past year.

Money saving website VoucherCodesPro polled over 2,000 full-time UK employees to find out how often they take days off that don’t count as annual leave.

It said 77 per cent of workers had, in the past 12 months, lied to their employer in order to take a day off work without a genuine reason such as illness or family bereavement.

The majority of the workers, 41 per cent, admitted that their absence was due to a self-inflicted hangover that they couldn’t confess to, with 23 per cent stating that they had just felt like enjoying a “duvet day” rather than going into the office.

A further 12 per cent admitted that they had lied to their employer about why they were taking a day off in order to interview for a new job role.

Workers were then asked to specify what fibs they had told their employer to justify taking the day off.

The most common excuses were a stomach bug (which 27 per cent used), a sick pet or vet appointment (18 per cent), an urgent hospital appointment (13 per cent), a broken down car( nine per cent) and no doubt a “self-induced” migraine (seven per cent).

When asked how many times during the past year they had used an excuse to avoid going to work, the majority, 64 per cent, revealed that it had only happened once, with 17 per cent confessing it had happened between two and five times.

Only 22 per cent stated that their employers or co-workers had suspected them of lying in order to get out of work.

George Charles of VoucherCodesPro said: “Let’s be honest here, who doesn’t occasionally wake up and consider ringing in sick to work in order to spend the day in bed watching films and eating junk food? The temptation is there, but ultimately most of us drag our bums to the office to fulfil our duties and responsibilities. 

“The fact that those who did admit lying to their employers are most likely to blame an absence on diarrhoea or a sickness bug makes a lot of sense. No-one is going to want the grisly details of a co-worker’s bowel movements and those kind of bugs tend to be 24 hour illnesses so won’t invite too many questions when they return to work the next day looking healthy and bright!”

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