Assertive Solutions

Funniest reasons for employee sickness

by Assertive Solutions in Tips

Every year UK employees take an average of around five days of sick leave, mostly due to legitimate reasons such as back pain, flu and childcare issues. However, that doesn’t stop some employees from taking ‘duvet days’ or pulling sickies, especially during Christmas and the summer holiday season.

As a result, employers get to hear their fair share of lame excuses when it comes to absenteeism – everything from vague claims of ‘feeling unwell’ to public transport strikes and bad weather.

Some excuses, though, are just so bizarre, dodgy or ridiculous that they deserve a special mention. From the sublimely hilarious to the just plain ridiculous, here is a rundown of our favourites:

Bizarre Excuses

  • “My plastic surgery went wrong so I’ve had to go in for a corrective procedure.”
  • “I died my hair at home and it’s gone orange!”
  • “I’ve been gambling all weekend but still have some money left over so I’d like to try my luck on the slot machines on Monday, if that’s OK?”
  • “I got lucky last night but it’s meant that I have woken up in a strange place this morning and don’t know where I am!”
  • “My sister-in-law’s friends, dad’s, dad is in hospital so I need to be there to offer moral support to the family.”
  • “My fortune teller has told me not to step out of the house or something terrible may happen.”
  • “My neighbour’s dog has just had five puppies and I need to take care of two of them.”

Really Lame Reasons

  • “I can’t come in because I’ve just put a casserole in the oven.”
  • “I don’t want to ruin my good mood.”
  • “My uniform caught on fire when I put it in the microwave as our tumble dryer is broken.”
  • “My fish is sick.”
  • “I went hunting this weekend and hurt my back chasing after a goat.”
  • “The tube strike means I won’t be able to get to work this morning.”
  • “My trousers split/ripped on the way to work.”

Although the vast majority of employers usually give their employees the benefit of the doubt, when it comes to serial offenders, nearly a third of employers in one survey said that they had checked up on their employers, either asking for a doctor’s note, calling them on the telephone or checking their social media accounts for signs that they were telling porkies. Some bosses even admitted to hiring a private detective or driving past their staff member’s house to see if they were there.

Of course, some people just won’t take sick leave and since the recession, many people still choose to come to work, even when they don’t feel great, because they don’t feel they can take any time off. That doesn’t stop them from doing what they can to avoid doing their work – either taking loads of smoke breaks or hiding in the bathroom. One study claims that almost a third of British employees in full-time employment regularly ‘hide’ in the toilets at work in a bid to pass the time, with most hiding for an average of 8.6 minutes, three times a week!

As recruitment consultants, we’d say this was a clear sign of job dissatisfaction. Our advice – get a new job – we’d be happy to help you find one that’s more suitable. Why not drop us a line or give us a call today to discuss what we can do for you?

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