The Worst Excuses From UK Workers Revealed

The worst excuses from UK workers

Everyone has probably taken a sick day while at work and for many people, this will have been for a legitimate sickness. There are many occasions however when a fake excuse will have been given, perhaps because someone simply wants the day off at short notice.

New research from CV-Library has shown that this is a much more common occurrence than you may initially think, with 79.7% of workers admitting to pulling a sickie in the last year. While (52.5%) of UK workers feel guilty about having to take a sick day, there are plenty (17.5%) who admitted to not actually being ill and just making up an excuse.

The survey saw 1,300 responses analysed to assess sick days in the workplace and it found that almost a quarter of professionals (24.1%) felt that sick days actually reflect badly on themselves. A further 13.2% feel that it is actually frowned upon to take a sick day, which perhaps correlates with the high rate of people feeling guilty.

Despite this however, an exceptionally high majority (86.1%) felt that their manager did understand why they had to take a sick day, showing that there is compassion to be found in the workplace. Most managers will understandably want their employee to get better, not only because an ill worker is less productive but there is also the chance that the illness could spread to others.

Plenty of Reasons For Sick Days

While many people will solely reserve their sick days for actual illnesses, there are those are call in sick for various reasons that have nothing to do with being sick. The top reason was found to be because they were simply too ‘tired’ to work with almost half (43.4%) reporting this.

Certain age groups saw this number rise with 48.4% of 18-24 year olds using tiredness as an excuse, though the largest group at 65.2% was amongst 55-64 year olds. While this tiredness could perhaps be accepted under certain circumstances, the following reasons will not endear themselves to managers.

For 15.1% of respondents, they called in simply because they couldn’t be bothered to work while a further 13% stated that it was because they already have plans. Some of the worst excuses people have given were included in the report including the following:

  • “My hamster is sick and needs to go to the vet”
  • “I lost a darts tournament last night and I am too traumatised to come in”
  • “I’m having a BBQ at the weekend and need time to prepare”
  • “There are cows in my garden so I can’t get to work”
  • “My boyfriend changed his relationship status on Facebook to single”

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library comments: “In today’s working world it’s clear that professionals are still taking unnecessary sick days, giving a whole host of excuses for not turning up to work.  But while it might seem like a good idea at the time, many workers are feeling the guilt, recognising that their decisions have a wider impact on their team and workload.”

Why Is Making An Excuse A Bad Idea?

While it may seem like a great idea at the time to give a silly excuse, you should consider whether or not it is a good idea. Not only could it potentially leave your colleagues having to do more work due to your absence, but if caught it can cause damage to your relationship with your manager and colleagues.

You may have a manager who is very considerate and will let a few instances slide, but providing too many outlandish excuses could result in resentment from colleagues and distrust from your manager. It could also result in professional repercussions if you provide an excuse that you are ill and people instead find images on your social media showing that you are actually well.

A sick day should ideally be for when you are too ill to come in to work and silly excuses could result in your manager taking a harsher approach not only to you but your colleagues. Workers in the UK do have rights in regards to sick leave, which we outlined in an article on OPInfo Blog, but they should be considered carefully.

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Sarah Jubb

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