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The cost of “bogus sickies” – sick days off work taken under false pretences – have cost UK businesses £5.6 billion in 2019, a recent market research report has revealed

The survey found that, on average, employees reported that they weren’t actually sick for 38% of the sick days they took off last year, resulting in 51.9 million fake sick days were being taken in 2019.

It also highlighted a new trend, meaning that lying to take sick days was more common amongst younger generations. 71% of 25-34-year olds admitted they’d lied when calling in sick, compared to just 25% of over 65s.

Despite lying to pull a ‘sickie’ from work being on the rise in UK offices, the research also uncovered a growing pressure to avoid taking sick days. 86% of 25-34-year olds reported feeling under pressure to avoid taking sick days, listing reasons such as stress caused by their workload (33%), anxiety about calling in sick (31%) and pressure from their manager (24%). Whereas less than half (44%) of over 65s said they feel pressure to avoid taking time off. 

Furthermore, many of the younger generation also raised questions over their employer’s handling of sick days. 17% said they feel they don’t get enough sick days from work, with 1% of over 65s saying the same. Despite 71% believing it doesn’t constitute a day off, one-third (33%) believe mental health sick days should be separate to regular sick days, compared to 11% of over 65s. 

Tensor Time and Attendance Systems can streamline sick leave monitoring and management

Tensor plc supplies an extensive range of solutions designed specifically to help employers thoroughly monitor and manage absence, with our flagship WinTA.NET integrated workforce management solution incorporating a dedicated Absence Planning and Entitlement Management feature.

Our comprehensive, yet user-friendly software comes pre-loaded with graphical calendar charts that provide a colourful way of viewing an individual’s or a department’s absence records.

Each employee can be allocated different entitlements for absence such as annual leave or allowed sickness. As absence is booked and taken, the remainder available for each entitlement is updated. Entitlement formulae are used to calculate more complex entitlements calculated on a rising scale based upon length of service.

WinTA.NET supplies the relevant managers with information on employee’s absences through warning email notifications or via hardcopy reports. After that, the system would rapidly identify missing employees that are expected to be at work and then informs you via automatic email reporting reports distributed by email.

If you’d like to find out more about the Tensor workforce management solutions, just contact our team or Book a Demo, we’ll be more than happy to answer all of your questions and queries.


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