'Culture of absenteeism' costing UK economy £1.6bn
Employees who are absent from work on days when they are not really sick are costing UK businesses over £1.5 billion a year, according to new research.
A survey by the CBI and insurer AXA has found that while employers believe most absences are genuine, 12 per cent are thought to be the result of workers "pulling a sickie".
It was felt by 70 per cent of those questioned that fake illnesses were used by staff members to prolong weekends, 68 per cent believed they were related to holidays, and 39 per cent said they were linked to major sporting tournaments or other special events.
These absences account for 21 million working days, and a loss of £1.6 billion to the economy.
Susan Anderson, CBI director of human resources policy, said: "Some people think they have a right to use 'sickies' to take long weekends or extend holidays as they please.
"Unauthorised absence puts colleagues under unfair pressure, and loses employers and taxpayers well over a billion pounds.
"Everybody gets sick and employers understand that most absence is genuine. It is in nobody's interest if staff come to work when they are not well."