While genuine stress-related work absences are on the rise in the UK, new research has also revealed that more and more of us are pulling a sickie in order to escape the daily pressures of never-ending workloads.
So, when we might not be feeling as ill as we’ve made out to our boss, what are the most common reasons us Brits are giving when we decide we need an unplanned day off work?
10) Serious mental health problems – 1%
Mental health issues now affect more than one in four of us and naturally, this has a knock-on effect on our professional lives. While many people do genuinely need to take time off because of stress, depression, anxiety and other disorders, believe it or not, 1% of us will make up a mental health problem to get time off work.
9) Headaches and migraines – 2%
It’s the oldest trick in the book which is probably why only 2% of us still use it to get a day off.
8) Genito-urinary – 3%
Yes, believe it or not, a small percentage of us will fake a urinary track infection or incredibly, even an STI to try and get a day off work.
7) Heart, blood pressure, circulation – 3%
6) Respiratory conditions – 4%
Respiratory conditions can range from asthma and bronchitis to pneumonia and lung cancer. It seems pretty drastic that 4% of Brits are using this to get time off.
5) Eye/ear/nose/mouth/dental – 4%
Toothache, ear ache, a trip to the dentist and eye infections are all less serious but increasingly common reasons we’ll give to pull a sickie.
4) Gastrointestinal – 7%
Although gastrointestinal problems are becoming increasingly common in today’s stressful world, 7% of us will untruthfully use anything from heartburn, indigestion and bloating to infections and IBS as an excuse to get out of work.
3) Stress, depression, anxiety – 8%
2) Musculoskeletal – 20%
A whopping 20% of us will use musculoskeletal disorders (injuries in the body’s joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves or tendons) to get out of work. They can occur by lifting a heavy object incorrectly, making the same motions repeatedly (such as typing on a keyboard), being exposed to force, having an awkward posture or pulling something at the gym so it’s no wonder that a fifth of us class it as a genuine and easy excuse not to go into the office.
- Minor illnesses – 30%
The most common excuse people use to try and get out of work is minor illness. This can include anything from a cold, cough, stomach ache, skin conditions, hay fever, sunburn, rashes and anything else that may not require medical attention.
What are the most common reasons you hear from your employees when they phone in sick? Feel free to share your stories with us below.