Are your staff faking it? One in six Brits admits to making up excuses to get the day off work

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  • Feigning an illness is the most popular cover story workers use for a day off work
  • Ridiculous reasons range from my dog ate my iPhone to I have sunburnt feet
  • One in seven workers confess Friday is the most desirable day to pull a sickie


A new study from has found that nearly one in six working Brits (14 per cent) – that’s 4.3 million people – admit to ‘faking-it’ for a day off work. From spluttering down the phone with a faux cold to locking themselves out of the house, truant employees are coming up with new and exaggerated excuses every day to avoid work.

The study shows the ‘live for the weekend’ mentality is the cause of most absences, with more than one in seven Brits (13 per cent) embracing the Friday feeling early and calling in sick to extend the weekend break.  An additional one in eight workers (12 per cent) confess to conjuring up a Monday morning excuse for an unscheduled day off to recover from a busy weekend. also asked employers to name the most common excuses employees use for a day-off and it’s no surprise that calling in sick came out on top with workers fake coughing and croaking down the phone to bosses. The study also reveals that employees are becoming more imaginative than ever, from the slightly careless ‘I thought it was Sunday and not Monday’ to the more extreme ‘my dog ate my iPhone’, employers named the most ridiculous excuses they have heard. Other creative cover stories include, ‘I’ve been waiting for a bus for three hours’ and ‘I cannot make it into work this morning as I have sunburnt feet’.


Lynn Cahillane, Communications Manager at, said:

“If you are considering making-up an excuse and taking a day-off work then perhaps it’s time to think about why. For many people a career is the most important aspect of life, so it’s vital to have a job that makes you happy. If you don’t enjoy work then maybe it’s you stop faking it and try a new position.”


Employer’s top ten most frequently heard excuses

  1. I’m sick
  2. A member of my family is sick
  3. I’m in A&E
  4. My phone battery died
  5. My dog is sick
  6. I was robbed last night
  7. I fainted on the way to work
  8. I don’t feel like going in
  9. I’ve broken my leg
  10. I’m locked out of my house

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