The true cost of pulling a 'sickie'

30th July, 2015

Around 16% of Britons admit to pulling a ‘sickie’ at some point during the year. To put this figure into perspective, it costs the UK economy an average of £100 billion a year for sick leave in total. This means of this £100 billion approximately £16 billion can be contributed by ‘sickies’.



It is difficult for employers to know when employees are trying to pull the wool over their eyes, but sometimes the need to be creative is outweighed by sheer stupidity. We’ve compiled a short list of the best worst excuses used by employees:

How to deal with sickness

There are steps that can be taken to help discourage employees trying to pull a sickie. Most ‘sickies’ are opportunistic and can be discouraged. Here are a few useful tips to help reduce the chance of your employees taking unnecessary sick leave:

Be mindful that not all sickness is fake. In many cases, the sickness will be genuine. The role of the employer can be an important factor in helping the employee back to work or even easing the burden.

For more advice on managing sickness absence and conducting return to work, please visit HSE.gov.uk.


Ensure that your liability to your employees doesn’t put the business at risk. Call Be Wiser Business Insurance on 0800 042 0401 for a employers’ liability quotation.