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  • Writer's pictureSentry Private Investigators

Taking a “Sick Day”

Although absence rates across both the public and private sectors have been falling since 1995, the figures still don’t look good on paper.

According to the 2018 survey published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on 6th November 2019, an eye watering 141.4 million working days were lost illness or injury. The key thing here is the date on which this survey was completed as it won’t be taking the Coronavirus outbreak into consideration. Numbers are expected to rise sharply in the coming months which will in no doubt create further financial and resourcing problems for employers.

The most common reason for absence at 27.2% with 35.8 million days lost, is for minor illness or injury. This comes as no surprise as we can all remember the day we called in sick because we felt a bit “poorly” when actually we felt fine. The old Ferris Bueller’s Day Off trick... The issue is when employees repeatedly do this (usually on a Friday or a Monday) purely because they have better things to do than go to work. Absenteeism sits consistently higher in the public sector than the private sector for the main reason that you are more likely to still be paid for your day off in the public sector.

Sentry Private Investigators Ltd love nothing more than proving someone’s innocence, and on the rare occasion it does happen. If you are unwell or injured then you absolutely should be having the day off to recover without the worry of being hounded by your employer. But far more often than not we prove our clients suspicions and find that an employees reasons for absence are entirely fabricated.

“I feel really sick and I’m staying in bed today”... Surveillance finds her having lunch with an old friend at her local pub.

“I really hurt my leg at football practice the other night, I’m not going to be able to get in this weekend”... Surveillance finds him playing in a Sunday league football match.

Some of the things we find employees getting up to when they are “poorly” can be seen as quite comical, but for a business it creates huge unnecessary pressures for the rest of the workforce and not to mention the bank balance if he or she is still being paid. With regards to the Coronavirus outbreak, we have no doubt that some employees will be using this as a means to get out of work especially if they are still being paid. If you have suspected Coronavirus, then you should be self isolating at home or even receiving treatment, but we know we will find some people out and about doing as they please until it’s time to go back to work.

In the UK we have the luxury of a statutory 28 days paid annual leave if we work 5 days a week. If you look across the pond to our closest allies (the U.S of A), they have a big fat 0 statutory days leave and this is common across most parts of the world. Employees should not be abusing the privilege we have, and if you suspect they are, then get in touch with us.

We predominantly operate in the Midlands regions but have a network of investigators based across the country who can in most instances deploy immediately. We offer our services at very affordable rates which will ultimately save your business money in the long run. If one of your employees has called in sick AGAIN, then let us look into it. It may be genuine, but if your gut is telling you it’s not, then you are probably right.

To find more information regarding UK absence rates, visit...


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