Reading this on a sickie?

But, if we are to believe a report that appeared last week, an average of one in three of these calls is from someone who is faking their illness.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, say the document’s authors at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, managers themselves are not reporting more than a quarter of their own sickness absences. All of which makes us Brits sound like a nation of skivers.

However, a look at some other recent statistics gives a possible explanation of why this phenomenon occurs.

The latest edition of Robert Half International’s Annual Accountancy Salary and Benefits Survey, for example, says that employees work an average of 9.6-hours-a-week overtime – usually unpaid – and over a third of staff are unhappy about the adverse effect that their work has on their social and family life.

And an analysis on page 15 of this week’s Accountancy Age finds British workers are still working much longer hours than their European counterparts.

Given the tiredness-inducing, private-life wrecking nature of working long hours over a long period, perhaps the most surprising feature of the CIPD’s findings is that we don’t all throw sickies more often.

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