Author Profile Picture

Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more about Cath Everett

News: Call centre workers in East Anglia most likely to throw a sickie…


Although a third of UK workers admit to having pulled a sickie, a worrying 55% soldier on when ill due to anxiety over what their boss or colleagues will think.

According to a survey conducted among 2,000 employees by insurance comparison website, some 35% admitted lying to their manager over why they had missed work, with the most popular excuses being flu, stomach aches, diarrhoea or a bad back.
The most common sectors for people to throw a sickie were call centres (54%), utilities (47%), the voluntary sector (45%), health (43%) and fashion and design (42%).
But there were regional differences too. Personnel in East Anglia were most likely to fib to their boss about why they weren’t at work (40%), followed by people in the East Midlands (38%) and the South East, Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East, all of which tied in third place (37%).
But Matt Lloyd,’s head of life insurance, warned that the culture of turning up at work when ill, due primarily to a lack of job security, posed more of a threat to employers than pulling a sickie.
“It is very worrying that workers are not prioritising their own health and feel that they cannot take a day off sick when they are genuinely unwell,” he said.
The research indicated what women (64%) were more likely to worry about taking time off sick than men (47%) due to fears that their boss wouldn’t believe the reasons behind their absence.

2 Responses

Author Profile Picture
Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

Get the latest from HRZone.

Subscribe to expert insights on how to create a better workplace for both your business and its people.


Thank you.