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The real cost of a fake day off

4 February 2019

We all get sick. It’s inevitable. But have you ever lied about being ill to your boss when in fact you’ve been at home doing nothing?

Well, according to our latest survey, more than a third of staff admitted to ‘pulling a sickie’ in 2018.

As a cover, most people used the excuse of having a sickness bug. In actual fact, the majority were suffering from a hangover.

It’s often said a little white lie never hurt anyone. But does it? What’s does an employee bunking off mean for you, small-business owner?

Absence doesn’t make the business heart grow fonder

According to CIPD, unscheduled time off costs a business on average £500 per employee, a year. For a small business, this can be a big chunk of your profits.

The cost is one thing, but when staff fake illness it may highlight a more serious problem – lack of staff morale.

When staff are disengaged or feel undervalued, they’re more likely to take advantage and call in sick. This can have a knock-on effect on other staff members as workflows increase, productivity reduces and stress heightens.

So, what can you do?

Addressing absenteeism

It’s important to tackle the issue head on.

Here are some top tips:

  1. Implement an attendance policy. This helps to effectively communicate your expectations as well as ensure equality in the treatment of absences.
  2. Create a pleasant working environment. By allowing flexibility and inclusion, staff will feel valued and are less likely to be absent.
  3. Are your staff disengaged? Find out why. By identifying the problem, you can come up with a suitable solution.
  4. Implement return-to-work interviews so you can show support while maintaining control over who is sick and why. This puts you in a better position to understand the situation.
  5. Demonstrate that you care by offering a health and wellbeing support package to your staff. A package like Equipsme is a cost-effective benefit that helps address staff absence through both prevention and cure. It provides employees with 24-hour GP access, diagnosis and treatment, physio, and damage-limiting stress support from £7 a month, per employee.

By looking after your staff, you’re protecting the welfare of your most important asset as well as preserving your bottom line.

Get a quote for Equipsme healthcare and wellbeing plans here or call Amy or Sarah on 0345 222 5393.

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