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Gloucestershire Business News

More than a third of South West workers pull a sickie

An incredible 36 per cent of employees in the South West admit to pulling a sickie every year.

Our region has the second highest sickie rate, beaten only by Scotland at 38 per cent.

'Pulling a sickie' is familiar territory for employees, but an inconvenience for employers. Whilst many employers may be unsuspecting of a worker's absence, faking a sickness can negatively impact a business's performance in several ways.

The average cost to an employer for each worker who throws a sickie is £357, or an astronomical £900 million a year to the UK as whole.

In the South West, it is the computer software/hardware industry seeing the highest rates of sickies, according to a survey by . The most common excuse given was flu, when the most common real reason for skipping work was avoiding a stressful situation in the workplace.

Our neighbouring regions skive far less than the South West, with just 20 per cent of workers in the West Midlands admitting to taking a sickie, and 26% in Wales. West Midlands skivers are most likely to suffering from a hangover, while Welsh skivers are most likely to be sneaking off for a job interview.

The South West lost 4,261,893 days to sickies in 2016-17. Collectively, the UK loses an astonishing 38 million days each year because of employees feigning sickness. To put this into context, the man hours lost by sickies in the UK in just one year, equates to the same number of working days to build two Channel tunnels, or 40 hospitals!

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