27m sick days are not genuine, survey finds

by Morag Lyall

An estimated 27 million sick days are not genuine, costing the UK economy £2.5 billion a year, according to a new survey.

The latest Absence and Workplace Health Survey by the Confederation of British Industry and Pfizer, revealed that 180 million sick days were taken, at an average of 6.4 per employee each last year.

This rate of absence is actually lower than in previous years, although it still cost the economy around £16.8 billion.

Business owners might want to be aware of staff absences over the next month as the World Cup kicks off.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has advised firms on how to avoid employment issues during the tournament.

Mike Cherry, policy chairman at the FSB, said: "Employers need to be aware of the impact that unplanned absence could have on their ability to trade and employees need to know that throwing a sickie rather than asking for time off could result in disciplinary procedures."

The survey found that public sector employees took more sick days, with an average of 8.3 per year.

  • Employment News from Lawpack: Solicitor-approved Sickness Absence Policy with expert guidance on how to complete the legal form

Published on: June 8, 2010

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