The first Monday in February is the day now officially known as being National Sickie Day!  According to statistics this is the day when people are most likely to pull a sickie with last year figures showing that approx. 350,000 people decided to do just that!

There are lots of theories behind why this date has become associated with such a negative reputation and to why so many people decide to choose a duvet day over setting the alarm and getting up to face another day at work – with dry January coming to an end, this has been the first weekend and opportunity to become reacquainted with those absence friends; Johnnie Walker, Harvey Wallbanger and Jim Beam and for some paint the town red. 

In addition, it has been the weekend after the first pay day for the month that has dragged its heels to the point of stupid, so what better way to celebrate?  The last time hair was let down and knees were up was Christmas – that statement undoubtedly needs to end with a ‘Cheers!’

Another rationale for this day becoming notorious for its absenteeism levels is that January tends to be a time for reflection and to carry out a complete overhaul of what we do with our lives to enrich our existence.  As so much time is spent in the workplace it is imperative to be happy, so career paths are re-evaluated, and this date becomes linked to be a popular day to attend interviews now the January job market is back on its feet and in full swing!

Finally, it’s just for those who don’t give a damn and who regularly take ‘Monday Sick’ days mingling sickness in with holiday entitlement in the belief that it is their right!  As the temperature has dropped outside it makes it increasingly difficult for those natural born shirkers allergic to both cold and the start of the week to part with the duvet!

Now don’t get me wrong in the mass of people who don’t attend work this Monday there will of course naturally be those who are genuinely ill; those who are completely oblivious that this day has this label with this sickening reputation making bosses across the land question whether their staff are actually ill or just pulling a fast one!

According to research it appears to be the younger employees who help to contribute to National Sickie Day in a big way as well as those working in the public sector who are most likely to fake illness for an extra unofficial holiday.  Women are more likely to call in sick than men. But men are more likely to call in sick when feeling tired, under the weather or hungover when compared to women.

But not all excuses for not going to work this Monday are seen as equal!  Some outweigh others and are more believable than others.  For example, vomiting bugs, viruses and abdominal pains are more likely to be believed being considered the most acceptable reasons to take the day off, with diarrhoea coming a close second!this is the ultimate sacrifice of dignity to your boss.  This is your golden excuse. Use it as you wish and enjoy your sickie in peace. 

Usually if it’s something that is typically gone in 24 hours it doesn’t warrant a doctor’s note and therefore employees use these more confidently in the knowledge it is difficult to disprove otherwise.

Feeling 'stressed' or 'depressed' even with all the heightened awareness of mental health still holds a stigma and is regarded far less favourably with stress still seen as a four-letter word.

However, the grey explanation of just not feeling well remains the most common used excuse used. But before assumptions are made that a more fanciful excuse is required, remember the guilty tend to go into elaborate explanations and the longer the excuse, the more likely an employer will think it’s a pack of lies and the less likely you will be able to remember it!

Nowadays employees are caught lying about being sick through announcing their duvet day on one form of social media or another.  It is becoming all more likely for managers to scour social media after receiving a call-in, to see whether the staff member is well enough to post updates.  Unfortunately, people forget that just like a make-believe contagious disease, social media is contagious too and word gets around!

For some more greedy people, the weekend doesn’t feel long enough so they take the extra day and partake in some Monday sickness.

Managing staff absence can be a complete a headache for a lot of employers perhaps they need to take a day off?

Some examples of the worst possible excuses used for being absent;

  • Having to move to a new house unexpectedly
  • House moved – when you live in a flat
  • In A&E with a pea stuck up your nostril
  • Having a bad hair day – dye disaster requiring professional help
  • Food Poisoning
  • Indigestion
  • An item of furniture fell on you
  • A family member was kidnapped
  • A family member died
  • A family member was in A&E with a pea stuck up their nostril Car won’t start
  • Exhaust pipe falls off car
  • Car been stolen when you don’t have a car
  • Keys to car been stolen
  • Handbag/briefcase stolen
  • Shoes stolen
  • Clothes Stolen
  • Shoes eaten
  • Clothes eaten
  • A flood when it hasn’t been raining
  • Snowed in when it hasn’t been snowing
  • Bolt of lightning struck when there hasn’t been a storm
  • A can of baked beans fell out of cupboard onto big toe – cannot walk
  • My hamster’s poorly when you have no hamster
  • My hamster died
  • Fish is sick when you have no fish
  • New contact lens solution has left me partially blind  
  • Hallucinating
  • Locked in
  • Door broken
  • Having a nervous breakdown
  • Dog upset – no dog!
  • Dog having a nervous breakdown
  • Got on wrong bus/wrong train/plane by accident