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55% work when sick; 10% skive when hungover

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A third of Brits pull ‘sickies', but soldier on when they really are sick, according to a new report.

A poll of 2,000 UK workers shows that 35% admit to having lied to their employers about the reason they missed work, with popular excuses including flu, stomach aches, diarrhoea and bad backs.

One in ten pulls sickies due to a heavy night out.

However, the number of people who still go into work when they are genuinely sick ‘implies a dangerous culture of ‘presenteeism’, where being present at work is a safer option than not being there – say insurance experts at

Matt Lloyd, head of life insurance at, said: “Our research suggests that the culture of turning up to work ill is more of a threat than ‘pulling a sickie’.

“It is very worrying that workers are not prioritising their own health and feel that they cannot take a day off sick when they are genuinely unwell.”

Despite many employees making up excuses to have a day off, many more still soldier on and go in to work despite feeling unwell.

55% of the workers polled said they turned up to work when they felt too ill to do so because they were worried about what their boss or colleagues would think.

Female workers are far likelier to worry over calling in sick than their male counterparts – with 64% saying that they have been into work when they felt ill because they were afraid their boss wouldn’t believe them.

Nearly half of men said the same thing.

Matt Lloyd added: “With many people experiencing a lack of job security over the last few years, it’s a really important time to think about protection products, such as income protection and critical illness cover, especially if you have dependents such as children or you have regular payments to make such as a mortgage.”

People from the North East are most likely to miss work after a heavy night out – 15% of workers polled from the region said they had missed work because they were hungover.


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