UK employees take more than 35 million sick days a year for personal reasons rather than for a genuine illness, according to research from Aon Consulting.
The survey of European workers revealed more than one in five (21%) Brits feigned illness the last time they took a day off work.
Only half (52%) took their last sick day for a genuine physical or mental illness.
However, nearly a third (29%) of employees would take less time off work if their organisation made flexible working provisions, and 28% if it offered a substantial cash advantage.
Peter Abelskamp, director of health and benefits, Europe, Middle East and Africa at Aon Consulting, said: “Over 35 million days taken as fictitious sick leave is costing the UK economy millions and these are probably conservative figures, considering the number of people who do not admit to faking sickness.
“Employers would be well advised to tackle the issues of sickness and workplace absence head on, as these seriously impact efficiency and hit their balance sheets.”
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