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‘Sickie’ throwing colleagues unpopular

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It’s not just employers who are unhappy with staff throwing fake ‘sickies’, research shows their colleagues aren’t too happy either.

A survey carried out by Ceridian revealed that two-thirds of employees either strongly disapproved or did not think it fair that fellow workers took ‘sickies’ off when they were not really ill.

The survey of 1,050 employees also revealed that employees took an average of 8.5 days off in the past year due to illness or other reasons and that 64 per cent of employers trusted their employees’ reasons for absence by not requiring a sick note if absent for less than five days and did not record details of the illness.

Doug Sawers, managing director of Ceridian in the UK, said: “Interestingly, there is a generally low tolerance of fellow employees taking ‘sickies’, especially among men and older or more senior employees.

“Disapproval was also more likely among employees working in smaller companies or smaller teams.”

Overall, 26 per cent strongly disapproved of such behaviour while 39 per cent felt that people shouldn’t do it, as it was not fair to others.

According to the CBI, the cost of absence due to ill health is costing British business £13bn per year.

Sawers added: “When it comes to genuine reasons for absence, the average number of days off per year is driven up by a relatively small number of employees taking many days off.

“If employers concentrated on helping these employees reduce the numbers of days absent from work then they could significantly improve overall organisational performance, both financially and in terms of customer service.”

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