“My dog is lonely” – UK bosses reveal the most ludicrous reasons given by employees calling in sick

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Just in time for National Sickie Day on 6 February, UK bosses have revealed the most ludicrous reasons given by employees when calling in sick. The research conducted by Powwownow found that one in five (21%) employees in the UK are likely to give an outlandish reason for not coming in to work, compared with only 7% of Dutch workers and 11% of French workers, who are more honest.

The survey found the top 10 most ridiculous excuses British bosses have been given by staff in the UK are:
1 “I can’t come in today; my dog is lonely.”
2 “I’ve got vertigo from the London Eye.”
3 “A bee got into my pants and stung me on the bum.”
4 “I was arrested after a wild night out.”
5 “My horoscope says work is bad for me this week.”
6 “My partner handcuffed me to the bed and then left with the key.”
7 “I couldn’t remember how to get to the office.”
8 “I’m having a fake-tan disaster.”
9 “I’m at A&E with my friend – they’ve had a sex accident.”
10 “The supermarket ran out of vegetables; now I’ve got scurvy.”

In the UK, the research also showed that more than a third (38%) of women confess to faking a sick day, compared to just a fifth of men (21%). The younger generation is more inclined to pull a sickie, with the majority of 18-34 year olds (85%) admitting to pretending to be ill at least once every six months when calling in sick, compared to just under a third of over 45 year olds (32%) in the same time frame.

Despite giving the most obscure reasons for being ill in Europe, the most common reason given by almost half of workers (46%) in the UK is having a cold or the flu.

Jason Downes, MD of Powwownow commented: “It’s interesting to see that so many Brits give bizarre excuses when calling in to work sick! As an employer, I think it’s important that we encourage staff wellbeing and ensure that they are motivated and encouraged to work and stay productive. Through offering flexible working and allowing staff to work remotely with hours that fit around their lifestyle, employees will be more motivated and less likely to call in sick.”

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    Molly Dyson

    Former Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Molly Dyson