Are these the worst excuses for pulling a sickie?

Excuses, excuses. They’re part and parcel of everyday life

Are these the worst excuses for pulling a sickie?

Excuses, excuses. They’re part and parcel of everyday life. From ‘a dog ate my homework’ to ‘I never received that message’, you’d be surprised how many times we make up ‘white lies’ on a day to day basis.

And whilst many of these excuses are pretty harmless, when it comes to calling in sick to work – any sort of lie is unacceptable. Not only that, but it will earn you a reputation as a slacker.

Perkbox interviewed over 1,000 employees to uncover the worst excuses staff have given for not turning up to work. According to the report, 44% of employees deign the ‘sickie culture’ to be synonymous with a flagging work ethic. However, half of employees who admit to having taken a sick day say it’s because they’re unhappy, depressed or simply overworked.

“Employees aren’t hard wired to be deceptive, or to skive off work.,” added Hannah Sims, Product Manager at Perkbox Medical.

“’Sickies’ result from a lack of engagement in the work employees do or in the business they work for and are often telling of more serious issues.

“Having and enforcing a clear sick leave policy not only makes legal sense and allows you and your business to track absenteeism, it also means you can keep a pulse of your company’s health and signal to employees that you take their wellbeing seriously and are always looking for ways to proactively help them.”

Read next: Our Perkbox review, learn about the employee rewards tool

From faintly bizarre to the outright ridiculous, these excuses will have HRDs scratching their heads. Ranked from the best to the worst, the top ten are below:

  1. I fell over in the shower and knocked myself out
  2. My partners threw the TV remote at me and I chipped my tooth
  3. I fell down the stairs and broke my coccyx
  4. I thought it was Saturday today
  5. I accidentally ate cat food instead of tuna and feel terribly ill
  6. My doctor’s appointment was delayed by two hours, then four, then eight hours. Then when it was my turn, I was in the toilet, so I kept waiting
  7. I got lucky last night - and I didn’t know where I was this morning
  8. I needed a day to catch-up on Brexit deals
  9. I dreamt I was at work. As I thought I was there I just stayed asleep
  10. I had a bad dream and needed the day to recover

A lot of the time, employees call in sick to work because they feel an imbalance in their work-life priorities. In order to help productivity and inflate staff morale, leaders must set an example.

“When it comes to work-life balance, the tone has to be set from the top,” explained Jamie True, chief digital officer at LifeWorks.

“Employees want to feel aligned with their team, their HR manager, their CEO and the business as a whole. That alignment and connection facilitates working relationships that enable better performance and foster an environment where work-life balance can be acknowledged and prioritized.

“It’s up to you to work on determining what parts of your life are the most important – your business, your community, family, friends, sports, music, or the volunteer work that you do,” he told HRD. “Trying to fit all of these in may be difficult, but it’s OK if it slips sometimes too as long as you are aware and can work towards equilibrium. None of us are perfect, but knowing your priorities is a good start to achieving the balance that works for your life.”


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