By Daniel Hunter
Bosses are expecting fewer workers to skive this National Sickie Day (Monday), as further government cuts, train fare hikes and the announced increase in council tax deter workers from phoning in sick.
Research suggests the combination of miserable weather, commuting in the dark, post-festive-period credit card bills and the long gap between holidays makes today the day people are most likely to take some unofficial time off.
Dubbed “National Sickie Day”, today will see companies suffer losses of close to £30 million in wages, lost hours and overtime as workers ‘diagnose’ themselves with short-term, mystery illnesses.
However, as spending cuts, tax increases and climbing travel costs bite, it is estimated that the number of people prepared to risk a day off will drop by 12.5 per cent compared to last year, with 350,000 UK workers expected to call in ill.
“Over the past few years we have seen the number of people shirking their jobs increase, but it seems that the economy is finally affecting workers’ consciences," Peter Mooney, head of consultancy at business support specialist, ELAS, said.
“Our research has shown that talk of a triple-dip recession is another main factor in fewer staff putting on their ‘poorly voice’ today, with more people feeling pressured into working longer hours to keep their job.
“We have also seen bosses become much better at tackling this type of absenteeism, as tight trading conditions force managers to ensure everyone pulls their weight.”
ELAS looks after the employment law and compliance needs of thousands of companies across the UK, helping them to tackle issues such as absenteeism through its Employersafe intelligent business software and its Absence Assist service, whereby staff have to speak daily to trained absence managers rather than phone their boss whenever they are ill.
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