Sick Leave – Or is it a”sickie”?

It has been reported that sick leave costs UK employers £29billion a year as British workers take up to 4 times as many days off sick than other comparable economies.

A Sickie?

One definition of sickie is “an informal day of sick leave from work – whether for genuine sickness or not.”

A more cynical definition found defines sickie as “a day taken as sick leave when one is not actually ill.”

Recent Survey – Men and Women

A recent survey by the AAT found the almost 20% of men admit every sick day they have taken in the last two years has been bogus. Just 9% of women made the same confession.

However, over 80% of women admit to using employer time and resources to look at non work related websites compared to 73% of men.

Calling in Sick – Other Options?

If your job allows you to work from home, this can be a useful option – particularly if you are not sick yourself but are taking a “sickie” to care for a sick child.

If working from home isn’t an option, another option to make up for sick leave might be to work a modified schedule to make up for sick leave (e.g. working a weekend or working late for the next few days).

The above is not always feasible and there are times when it is just best to rest and recover.

Further Consideration for Employers

A scientist recently suggested that employers should consider giving employees paid time off to exercise. The scientist referred to increased physical activity increasing the health and wellbeing of individuals.

The thought of employees being paid to “run a few laps of the office” once a week will horrify some employers – and possibly employees alike!

Other Options for Employers

Some employers will invest in health and wellbeing strategies to address the issue of sick leave including:

  • Provision of private health care
  • Provision of gym membership
  • Bonuses to employees who take little or no sick leave over a specified period

There are tax and national insurance implications for the above strategies and if you want to discuss any of these, please contact your local Perrys office.

Article written by Declan McCusker