January is notoriously known as the blue month. It feels extra long after the festivities of Christmas and the partying at New Year, alongside the harsh reality of returning to the norms of work, school, and short dark, damp days. But did you know the first Monday in February is known as National Sickie Day?
What does that mean exactly? Well, today (7th February) is statistically when most people will call in to work and give a wide range of excuses to take the day off.
Some of the excuses used on National Sickie Day
Whether you’re looking for an excuse yourself or just intrigued, here are some of the excuses people might use to pull a sickie today:
- “I lost my PPE”
- “The dog ate my shoes”
- “I have no way to get in to work”
- “My wife earns more than me, so I have to look after the kids”
- “I got arrested”
Although some of these excuses wouldn’t cut it, these are some of the genuine ones according to the employment law firm ELAS Group, given in the past.
There are many reasons why people feel like they need the day off work, such as tiredness, the weather, not feeling up to it, and even illness. However, pulling a sickie can actually cost the UK economy around £45 million in lost productivity. Ouch!
Ways to help stop your employees pulling a sickie
If you’re an employer and you’re reading this, here are a few things you could consider to help stop staff from pulling a sickie:
- Offer flexible working – although this has become almost normal over the last 2 years. Increasing the ability to work from home and allowing flexi hours can make work more appealing.
- Offer regular mental health training and lower stress in the workplace – offering staff mental health training days can help them to manage their stress and offering things like chill out spaces in offices, dress down days, and even free coffee can help!
- Encourage staff to look after their physical health – some employers offer health benefits such as free gym membership, health insurance, or even fitness classes. If this isn’t possible, consider offering free fruit and healthy snacks in the workplace. Why not team up with Hydratem8 and offer your own water bottles to encourage your staff to stay hydrated throughout their working day?
So, whether you’re sitting at your desk conscientiously working and feeling guilt-free or you called in this morning because “your hamster is poorly,” remember the first Monday in February is National Sickie Day.