National Sickie Day could cost UK plc £34m today

Sixty-nine per cent of British workers would love a duvet day today, National Sickie Day. The cost to employers could be as much as £34m in lost productivity. This figure is based on research which showed that as many as 375,000 workers could call in sick.

According to a 1,600-person survey by The Fine Bedding Company, for 38 per cent of employees the weather is the top reason for wanting to take the day off.

The second most popular reason was actually feeling ill: more than a third of adults currently feel under the weather, with snivels, coughs and seasonal fatigue. 

In at number three was a hangover. With Dry January now over, many were planning to have a “big weekend” to make up for it and would anticipate that their reluctance to go to work would be because of feeling rough. 

Other reasons in the top five were “just needing a lie in” and generally feeling overworked/stressed.

Excuses, excuses

While most people would claim that “they’re just ill”, other popular excuses that people would give on National Sickie Day are children being off school, bereavement, attending a funeral, that the car has broken down and they’re having to wait for breakdown recovery, having incurred an injury (like sprained ankle or wrist).

The research also unearthed some outrageous excuses that might be used when calling in sick today. 

These include “I’ve accidentally locked myself in the bathroom and I’m having to wait until someone with a key to the house can come round to let me out”; “I’ve accidently sent my uniform to the charity shop so need to go and buy it back”; “my plastic surgery has gone wrong and I need to go and get it fixed”; “I thought it was a bank holiday today and I’m 500 miles away”.

“Post-Christmas blues, seasonal ailments, the wintery weather, financial woes and a long wait for the next holiday are all top reasons for the UK’s lack of motivation to turn into work. Maybe our duvets are just too comfy that we want to stay in bed for longer,” says Sally Jesson from The Fine Bedding Company. 

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