The worst excuses for employee absence

Date: Tuesday, 5th June, 2018

Did any of your employees call in sick yesterday?

It was Monday after all, meaning a few employees may have overindulged on the sunny weekend, then perhaps feigned a summer cough or cold!! This is not unheard of, but there are some excuses which are so excessive and exaggerated that you can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of it.

Here are five of the worst excuses for absences that we have heard!!

1. My only pair of work trousers are in the wash.

2. I stayed out too late partying last night and haven’t had any sleep

3. I got arrested.

4. I’m too drunk to drive.

5. I have no way to get to work.

According to research Desk.co.uk, who asked 2,088 employees before the last Bank Holiday weekend if they would consider telling a few “white lies” to avoid a day at work.  Of those questioned 27% said they were hoping to sneak an extra day off!

As an employer you are perfectly entitled to challenge the authenticity of an absence; if an excuse seems too far fetched then ask for evidence if appropriate.  If you notice a pattern emerging then you should speak to the employee about their poor attendance and take proactive steps to action it.

The view of HR professionals, prevention is nearly always better than cure when dealing with sickness and absence.

Here are our tops tips to consider if you have a “sickie” culture in your business.

Offer working from home options – Maybe an employee has used a sick day to care for a child during the school holidays? If you offered the chance to work from home, employees could still get on with their job while keeping an eye on child, this also allows employees to avoid a hot, sweaty commute which might be putting them off coming in.

Offer ‘duvet days’ as a work benefit – This is a day an employee can take holiday without giving notice in advance.  This can help boost productivity, as employees feel respected and it helps to build trust as employees don’t have to pretend to be sick when they really just need a day off.  These are of course built into a company’s holiday allowance.

Reduce work stresses – Find out why people might want to take a day off from the office.  Are they overwhelmed with work? Is the office a comfortable place to get things done? If you can reduce the stress of working then chances are your employees won’t feel the need to escape once in a while.

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