The UK Careers Fair logo
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
HomeAbout2024 ScheduleEventsNewsJobsLondon
Exhibit With UsBook A Stand
Contact Us
Lifestyle
5 min read

Off Sick… Again?

It is estimated by the ONS, that in 2022, there were 185 6 million days taken off sick in that year which was a record high since 2004. If trends continue then this will become even higher which is not good news for employers. This equates to an average of 5.7 days off work due to sickness for each worker.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
May 28, 2024

It is estimated by the ONS, that in 2022, there were 185 6 million days taken off sick in that year which was a record high since 2004. If trends continue then this will become even higher which is not good news for employers. This equates to an average of 5.7 days off work due to sickness for each worker.

Minor illnesses are the most common reason for being off work and accounts for around 29% of illnesses followed by ‘other’ conditions at a slightly lower rate of around 23% which are not specified. Then the most common conditions are musculoskeletal at 10.5%, respiratory conditions at 8.3% and then mental health conditions at almost 8%.

However, statistics show that alarmingly, approximately half of employees in the UK have lied about being too sick to go to work when in fact they are perfectly well, which costs businesses in the UK billions of pounds. Lying about being sick is never a good idea, especially if it is a regular occurence.

Fortunately, most employers have a strict procedure to follow regarding sickness, and regular bouts of illnesses and intermittent days will invariably be flagged up. Once it is established that there is a pattern, the matter will be in the capable hands of the delegated HR team to monitor and evaluate what is happening, and then to take appropriate action. Additionally, an employer does have a duty of care towards their employees which extends to ensuring their welfare.

The sickness procedure should be a straightforward one where you will be required to contact your employer on the first day of sickness, as soon as possible and give brief details about why you are unwell and how long you expect to be unwell for. This enables the employer to have an idea of when to expect you back in the workplace and can delegate work as necessary and make other arrangements if necessary.

If you are absent for seven days or more in a row (due to legitimate sickness) which includes weekends and public holidays then you will need to obtain what is called a ‘fit note’. These used to be referred to as a ‘sick note’ until the rules changed in 2010. Usually you would obtain a fit note from a GP, but other professionals who are legally able to issue them are nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists and physiotherapists and have been able to do so since 2022.

But why would someone state that they are sick when they are not? Obviously, if the employee does not wish to use any of their annual leave entitlement or has exhausted their entitlement then a fake sick day is an easy option or indeed, their only option. There are numerous and varied reasons why, but when it becomes more than a ‘one off’ it can have serious implications for both the company and its employees. Someone who takes regular sick days that are not legitimate are showing that not only do they not care about their job, but they do not care about the company for which they work.

Of course, many managers, if asked by an employee for time off for an important reason, would discuss options such as unpaid leave or even perhaps making up the lost time at a later date. Managers would much rather appreciate the honest and professional approach rather than being lied to and taken advantage of.

Not being transparent about being well enough to be in work will quickly add unnecessary stress and strain on colleagues who are diligent enough to take their work seriously, take pride in their job and do not want to let anyone down. This lack of mutual consideration causes colleagues to  have to work harder to make up for the absentee. Workloads get pushed on to other people and important deadlines can be missed.

Productivity may be reduced and responsibilities left unattended. This causes disruption which in turn creates a ripple effect, ultimately affecting clients or others who have an interest in the business. This can create a feeling of unfairness that has the potential to cause unpleasant rifts, lack of trust and feelings of being unsupported between colleagues. Colleague morale may be lowered and the team dynamics will be swiftly affected.

A workplace can only thrive and work at maximum efficiency when all involved work as a team and show dedication, support, understanding, respect and loyalty to one another - and to the company.

Weekly newsletter
Sign up to our newsletter to keep updated with the latest insights for the freshest trends and know-how in the career realm.
By submitting, you are agreeing to receive our weekly newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time if you no longer wish to receive these updates.
Read about our privacy policy.
Thank you! You're now subscribed to the latest news from The UK Careers Fair.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Latest News

Dive into our latest insights for the freshest trends and know-how in the career realm, updated daily.
Careers Advice

Resourceful Financial Moves - Job Seekers

Joanna Clare
|
Content Manager
July 19, 2024
5 min read
Graduate Advice

Navigating UK Visa Options For International Graduates

Joanna Clare
|
Content Manager
July 18, 2024
5 min read
Business Advice

Why Social Media Is Essential In Business

Joanna Clare
|
Content Manager
July 18, 2024
5 min read

Upcoming Events

Check out our full and comprehensive list of upcoming events.

Liverpool Careers Fair
August 1, 2024
Manchester Careers Fair
August 2, 2024
York Careers Fair
August 7, 2024
Bristol Careers Fair
August 7, 2024
Darlington Careers Fair
August 8, 2024
Exeter Careers Fair
August 8, 2024
Southampton Careers Fair
August 9, 2024
Harrogate Careers Fair
August 9, 2024
Brighton Careers Fair
August 14, 2024
Loughborough Careers Fair
August 14, 2024
Reading Careers Fair
August 15, 2024
Milton Keynes Careers Fair
August 16, 2024
Swansea Careers Fair
August 21, 2024
Stoke-on-Trent Careers Fair
August 21, 2024
Portsmouth Careers Fair
August 21, 2024
Doncaster Careers Fair
August 22, 2024
Worcester Careers Fair
August 22, 2024
Inverness Careers Fair
August 23, 2024
Sunderland Careers Fair
August 28, 2024
Preston Careers Fair
August 28, 2024
Middlesbrough Careers Fair
August 29, 2024
Wigan Careers Fair
August 29, 2024
Carlisle Careers Fair
August 30, 2024
Hull Careers Fair
August 30, 2024
Shrewsbury Careers Fair
August 30, 2024
Guildford Careers Fair
August 30, 2024
Colchester Careers Fair
September 4, 2024
 TAKE ME THERE