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Workers in the capital more likely to pull a sickie

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Workers in Greater London take twice as many ‘fake’ sick days as the national average, according to a new survey.

The Britain at work study, by market researcher TNS, surveyed 1,000 people and found that 33% of Londoners regularly phone in sick, when they are not actually ill, with 12% admitting to pulling a ‘sickie’ at least three times a year. This is compared to a national average of 19% phoning in sick and 6% doing so three times a year.

In terms of regions, the north west fared well, with a whopping 68% of employees stating they never pull a sickie.

Gemma Camp, head of stakeholder management at TNS, said rather than coming down hard on employees, businesses need to introduce better incentives for high attendance and seek to identify why people call in sick.

“Employee engagement is more important than ever – we know that higher levels of engagement result in lower levels of absenteeism. So, monitoring levels of employee engagement and understanding how to improve it is absolutely vital to business success.”

When it comes to reasons given for pulling a sickie, a hangover is popular amongst 12% of Londoners, with just 4% using the same excuse in Wales and the north east. Scotland tops the chart when it comes to using stress as a reason, at 38%, while 58% of employees in the east and west Midlands cited relationship issues as a good reason to stay at home.

Ironically, despite commuting hassles in London, people here are less likely to use transport problems as a reason to not go to work – with 11% using this excuse, compared with 21% in Wales and 18% in Scotland.

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