80 per cent of U.K. workers admit to playing hooky

British doctors reluctant to refuse to provide medical note in cases where worker is not sick

Eight out of 10 workers in the United Kingdom admitted to having faked being sick at least one day in the past year, according to a new study.

In a poll of nearly 1,000 employees, 82 per cent said they had faked a cough or cold — or worse — so they could take a day off work.

More than a third had feigned illness twice, 17 per cent did so three times and 14 per cent had played hooky on four occasions.

The problem was just as widespread in the management ranks. Three-quarters of managers surveyed admitted to playing hooky from time to time.

The study, conducted by London-based payroll recruitment firm Portfolio Payroll, came on the heels of a study out of Aberdeen University that found doctors are loath to refuse to hand out medical notes even if the patient is perfectly healthy for fear of jeopardizing their relationships with patients and because patients could easily get a note from another doctor.

“Employers pay the price for this, especially small businesses that have to stretch and use all their resources to compensate for absenteeism,” Danny Done, managing director at Portfolio Payroll, told BusinessEurope.com. “The problem costs businesses thousands of pounds a year and if you are a small business these are costs that you could really do without.”

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