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One in three UK workers admit to lying to take time off work, mainly because they’re disillusioned with their jobs, according to research commissioned by PwC on attitudes to absence.
While good weather, hangovers, and romance are motivations for 11%, 18% and 5% of "skivers" respectively, the majority (61%) claim they are simply bored and depressed with work.
For 21% of workers, family responsibilities are the real reason behind "sick" days, perhaps highlighting the difficulties people face achieving a work-life balance.
Neil Roden, HR consulting partner at PwC, said:
"Introducing or enhancing flexible working arrangements can make a difference. Ensuring people feel they’re not taken for granted is also important. Some 15% of those who provided false excuses felt they deserved the time."
Employers need to take heed because taking a day off for a false reason seems to be contagious. A third of workers think they’d be more likely to take unwarranted leave if they see their colleagues getting away with it. The effects can also be long lasting, with two thirds of "skivers" saying their sick days are more credible if they pretend to be ill for more than one day.