Just a few weeks into the new year and the nation is already preparing to call in sick to work – in fact today (Monday, February 4) is traditionally the day when most people are likely to ‘pull a sickie’.
Known as ‘National Sickie Day’, the first Monday in February is deemed the most popular day of the year to call in and cry off work.
There are a few reasons why this day is when a lot of people choose to not go to work. One is that this day follows the first payday weekend since Christmas when many people may have headed out to celebrate the end of January.
Also, after the New Year, many people have re-evaluated their careers and may take the day off to attend interviews.
Last year whilst snow days trumped National Sickie Day when it came to absentee rates, reports suggest an estimated 350,000 absences were still recorded on this day.
Monday is also the day of the week with the highest levels of sick leave – and workers are twice as likely to be absent on a Monday or Friday than any other weekday.
Statistically though there are many reasons for taking time off work, including stress.
Recent research conducted by Salary Finance, a salary linked benefits provider, found that people with financial concerns take around 1.5 days a year off work due to financial stress.
This group of people are also more likely to be looking for a new job., with 24 per cent of those with financial worries are on the lookout for a new opportunity.
Asesh Sarkar, CEO and co-founder at Salary Finance said: “According to our Employer’s Guide to Financial Wellbeing, workers with financial worries are more likely to be absent, less productive and searching for a new role. All in all, this can have a great impact on employers in turn. A recent Harvard Kennedy School study* reported that the cost of losing an employee is between 16-20 per cent of annual salary.
“At Salary Finance our products allow employers to support their workers becoming more financially fit and therefore happier and more productive at work.”
Despite all this it is not all bad news for employers. The ONS reports overall sickness levels are falling with figures dating to mid-2017 showing the average number of absence days at work having almost halved since 1993 – going from 7.2 days to 4.1 days.
Of the workforce, public sector workers are statistically more likely to take a day off work due to being unwell, with public sector health workers having the highest rate.