UK workers reveal the worst excuses they’ve given for not turning up to work

UK workers reveal the worst excuses they’ve given for not turning up to work, as half of professionals reveal they feel guilty about taking sick days.

More than half (52.5 per cent) of UK employees feel guilty about taking sick days, the majority (50.6 per cent) state that this is because they are leaving their team in the lurch. This is according to the latest data from CV-Library, which finds that women feel most guilty about sick leave (60.5 per cent).

The survey received 1,300 responses from workers across the UK, finding that a further 24.1 per cent of professionals feel that taking sick days reflected badly on them; while 13.2 per cent believe it is frowned upon in the workplace. Despite these concerns, 86.1 per cent did say that their manager understands when they need to take a sick day.

Other key findings include:

– More than three quarters (79.7 per cent) of workers have ‘pulled a sickie’ in the last year
– …With 17.5 per cent of them making up an excuse for not going in to work
-And more than two thirds (69.1 per cent) have heard a colleague giving a false excuse for not going into work

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library comments, ‘In today’s working world it’s clear that professionals are still taking unnecessary sick days, giving a whole host of excuses for not turning up to work. But while it might seem like a good idea at the time, many workers are feeling the guilt, recognising that their decisions have a wider impact on their team and workload.’

The top reason for workers calling in ‘sick’ was because they were too tired (43.4 per cent), with this figure rising to 48.4 per cent amongst 18-24 year olds and 65.2 per cent amongst 55-64 year olds. In addition, 15.1 per cent say they simply couldn’t be bothered, while 13 per cent state that they had other plans. Finally, just under one in ten (9.2 per cent) say it was because they had a hangover, rising to 10.4 per cent amongst men.

Biggins continues, ‘While it’s all too easy to come up with an excuse for not turning up to work, it’s important to think about the bigger picture and wider implications of your absence, especially when it’s not 100 per cent necessary! Whether you’re in part-time work, or are well into your career, you’re going to be more trusted by your employer if you’re honest and open with them – you never know, they may grant you a bit of time out if you really do need it.’

Finally, the research reveals some of the worst excuses that people have given for not turning up to work:

1. ‘I have blisters from wearing new shoes on Saturday night’

2. ‘I’ve got a terrible migraine (also known as a hideous hangover)’

3. ‘My hamster is sick and needs to go to the vet’

4. ‘I left my work uniform on the bus’

5. ‘I lost a darts tournament last night and I am too traumatised to come in’

6. ‘A tree has fallen down onto my property and it needs to be cleared/made safe’

7. ‘My boyfriend changed his relationship status on Facebook to single’

8. ‘There are cows in my garden so I can’t get to work’

9. ‘I didn’t get to bed until late so I’m too tired to come in’

10. ‘I’m having a BBQ at the weekend and need time to prepare’

Further reading on excuses for calling in sick

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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