Over a quarter of employers are offering incentives for workers to drive them to ring in sick less often, according to new research.
The survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting also revealed that nearly half of European bosses promote health benefits and initiatives to encourage employees to take fewer sick days.
When it came to reasons for ringing in sick, respondents appeared to be divided - more than a quarter of those surveyed said they thought less than a fifth of staff who take sick days are actually ill, with a similar figure stating that they believed the majority of sick days are due to genuine illness.
"While there are clearly legitimate reasons for taking days off other than ill health, the data suggests some employers are questioning how much employee absence is due to genuine causes," commented Mercer principal Steve Clements.
Last week, research from the Confederation of British Industry and AXA suggested that sick days cost the economy £13.4 billion during 2006.