July 28 2005 - An absenteeism survey conducted for Hudson showed that nearly a
third (30%) of US workers admitted to taking a 'sick' day when they were not ill.
Almost half (49%) of the employees who played hooky said they did so
because they needed a break, while 22% said they took the time off to care for an ill family member.
Younger workers (aged 18-29) and those earning less than $20,000 a year were the most likely to
pretend to be sick at 43% and 37%, respectively.
But feigning sickness is not prevalent - most (77%) of all employees
who fake being sick do so only on rare occasions. A mere 6% admit to doing it more
than three times a year.
It is interesting to note that a surprising 41% of those who have played
hooky thought that their bosses knew they were not actually sick. Women (53%) were more
confident of getting away with the practice than men (46%), with 55% of single workers
also more confident than married employees (45%).
"With the busy pace of today's working environment, employees are taking
matters into their own hands to combat stress and take care of their families,
often with the tacit approval of their manager," says Alicia Barker, vice-
president of human resources, Hudson North America. "While this practice may
reduce employees' concerns about breaking the rules, managers can also help by
advocating a healthy work/life balance, time management training and stronger
personal time policies."
Intriguingly, nearly twice as many women (25%) as men (13%)
under the age of 40 falsely called in sick due to a family member's illness.
There was less of a difference between genders among people over 40, with 27%
of women and 22% of men admitting to the practice. Altogether, the 40-49
age group had the highest incidence for family care at 30%, probably
reflecting the dual challenge of caring for children and aging parents.
in sick when
they were not
Called in more
than 3 times
Did so due
to a sick
A more detailed data report is available at .
The Hudson absenteeism survey is based on a national poll of 2,202 U.S.
workers compiled by , an independent research
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