On average staff take an average of 9.1 sick days each year, costing British businesses around £29bn each year.

However, according to a survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, 34% (1 in 3) of UK workers admits to having skived.

So why do people skive?

21% of workers asked, admit to taking unwarranted sick days due to family issues.

This is unsurprising, but shows a greater need for offering employees the flexibility the need to achieve a strong work-life balance.

However, the PwC study also found that around 15% of those who pulled ‘sickies’ believed that they worked hard and deserved the time off. This highlights the importance of making employees feel valued.

Stress leave

The most notable reason for taking unwarranted sick days was stress.

This is supported by another study that examined doctors’ sick notes. The study found that 35% of sickness was linked with mental health disorders, including stress, anxiety and depression.

Worryingly, the fact that people used ‘stress’ as a reason for skiving in the PwC study, shows

That many don’t see it as being a genuine health concern.

It’s not always as obvious as it seems

People can give shockingly unbelievable excuses for sick days. One man in the PwC study admitted that one of his excuses involved taking a pet hamster to the vet, forgetting he had already claimed the hamster was dead on a separate occasion!

However, others were a lot more subtle. In the PwC study, 4/10 people who admitted to skiving had planned their absence in advance so that they could start faking symptoms in order to be believed.

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