Retail staff most likely to pull a ‘sickie’

Employees in the retail sector are the most likely to pull a ‘sickie’, according to research by

Its research, which polled 1,921 UK-based employees, found that the most reliable employees work in health, education and agriculture.

Just under a third (29%) of respondents said they were always genuinely ill when they claimed a sick day at work. More than a quarter (26%) said they were rarely ill when they called in sick.

Of those who admitted to lying about being ill 61% said they had felt some guilt about being dishonest. 

Of those who admitted to feeling guilty, almost half (49%) said they felt they had let their colleagues down, while 27% felt bad for their employer.

The top 10 sectors according to sick days taken in the last 12 months were:

  • Retail – 6.4 days.
  • Customer service – 6.2 days.
  • Sales and marketing – Six days.
  • Recruitment and HR – 5.8 days.
  • Energy and utilities – 5.5 days.
  • Public sector – 5.2 days.
  • IT and communication – Five days.
  • Transport and logistics – 4.6 days.
  • Construction/trade – 4.5 days.
  • Law – 4.1 days.

Matthew Wood, global sales director of at, said: “Now and again, you might find yourself in the situation where you have to fib to your employers about where you are on a certain day.

“If you’ve got a job interview in the pipeline it can be tricky to organise time off without letting on the real reason, in which case a ‘sick’ day might be the easiest solution.

Sick days cost industry millions of pounds every year. You might not think that the odd sick day here and there hurts, but collectively, the cost to the British economy can be considerable.”