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Annie Hayes

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‘Blue’ Monday tipped as first in February

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Experts warn that the first Monday in February will see absence rocket and gloom prevail.

According to a survey by Sky Travel, hangovers, lack of sleep and retail therapy are the main reasons people will choose to stay away from the office on this day.

Stephen Seymour, head of HR at training and recruitment consultancy The Urquhart Partnership, gave a warning to employees contemplating a day under the duvet: “We all experience the blues from time to time but this is no excuse for shirking your work responsibilities. Pulling a sickie may seem tempting with the summer still a long way off but what if you get found out?!”

Seymour said tempted employees should spare a thought for colleagues left to pick up the workload: “Pulling frequent sickies can also affect your reputation and a reputation for being a shirker is hard to shift.”

Neeta Laing, head of employment at law firm Lewis Hymanson Small, said employers can take action by taking a firmer stance, monitoring absence and withholding sick pay for non genuine reasons.

“In order to combat serious absence issues in the workplace, employers need to introduce an absence management policy which includes absence reporting procedures, disciplinary procedures, and return to work interviews. An effective policy should result in improvements in absence levels and of bottom line profitability.”

In related news, HR Zone recently reported that bosses are increasingly experience problems with hungover staff on Monday mornings. According to the Health and Safety Executive, hungover staff cost UK plc around £2.8 billion, with each employee working an average two and a half days a year whilst hungover.

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Annie Hayes

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Read more from Annie Hayes
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