Office workers at desks using computers in modern office

Here’s why your employees are ‘pulling sickies’

Aside from the obvious – that the reason your employee gave is genuine –, there are countless explanations as to why your employees would bend the truth when taking a sick day. We take a look at some of the top reasons below.

Mental health
Despite support being increasingly prevalent in the workplace, many employees still feel they need to feign musculoskeletal sickness to disguise the fact they’re struggling with their mental health. While many businesses are very supportive when it comes to taking mental health days, workers often feel a sense of guilt or don’t feel comfortable disclosing their struggles with their workplace.

To counteract any shame or stigma behind talking about mental health in the workplace, your business should start an open conversation with your employees. Let them know that they are in a safe environment and be as flexible as you can to accommodate their needs. While it can be difficult when you’re relying on the staff member – especially in catering and hospitality – react with kindness rather than anger. Your employee will be much more productive once they’ve been given the time and space they need to heal, rather than trying to push through it.

Workplace disharmony
Research shows that due to factors such as negative work culture and heavy workloads, many employees are taking sick days due to stress. According to the HSE, in 2018, 15.4 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, 57.3% of all workdays lost to ill health in the UK. This indicates that businesses need to do more to tackle the issues surrounding stress in the workplace, including spotting the signs early and doing more to prevent things like bullying and excessive workloads. 

In the same study conducted by the HSE in 2018, it was found that those working in education and social work were amongst the worst affected.

All in all, stress, anxiety and depression currently makes up around 43.8% of all workplace illness.

While there are a lot of valid reasons to take a sick day, hangovers aren’t one of them. The IAS (Institute of Alcohol Studies) found that up to 17 million working days are lost in the UK because of alcohol-related sickness. Even if your employees do come in when hungover, this often results in issues such as difficulty concentrating, reduced productivity, tiredness and errors.

When it comes to employee health, many business health insurance policies focus on musculoskeletal over mental health, yet, with over half of work-related absences caused by mental and stress-related issues, this clearly needs to be factored in. At Lagentium, we can help you to arrange a modern, flexible group health insurance plan for your employees which accounts for both musculoskeletal and mental health issues. To find out more, call us on 01977 558391.