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  1. ITV Report

National Sickie Day: Top 10 Worst Excuses for Absence

Generic photo of unwell girl at home Credit: PA

Ahead of 'National Sickie Day' next Monday, a company has put together a list of excuses for absences in 2016.

On 6 February, The Employment Law Experts (ELAS) predicts that approximately 350,000 people will call in sick, costing the UK economy around £45 million in wages, lost hours and overtime.

Despite this, the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce reported that the West Midlands has one of the best sickness records in the UK, losing fewer days per person to sickness than any other region bar the South West and the South East.

Here are the top 10 worst excuses for absences last year from ELAS:

  • It's my dogs' birthday and I need to arrange a party for him
  • My friend is on annual leave so I can't get a lift
  • I got arrested
  • I lost my PPE
  • I'm too drunk to drive
  • My only pair of work trousers is in the wash
  • I stayed out too late partying last night and haven't had any sleep
  • The dog ate my shoes
  • My wife earns more than me so I have to look after the kids
  • I have no way to get to work

Emma O'Leary, employment law consultant for the ELAS Group, says:

These excuses might sound weird and wonderful but they are all genuine reasons we have heard from our clients over the last year.

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 key is not to penalise genuine absences but to tackle the trend of sickies.

– Emma O'Leary