Would it shock you to know that roughly 83 percent of sick days from work are due to “feigned” illness? If you thought that was a high figure, how about €4 billion estimated in absence costs each year...
Last year ISME produced a survey highlighting the impact and costs associated with high “fake” absence within the group of companies surveyed. It makes for concerning reading, now more than ever, considering the economic landscape we currently inhabit. While industrial disputes continue within the public sector as a result of the weighty pay cuts and taxation increases, it’s now paramount to the private business to take a rigorous approach to the management of sick leave.
While effective absence management policies usually prevent or curtail “sickies”, it’s not always easy to determine whether cases are genuine or not. HR and Line Management can find themselves grappling with over-zealous GPs readily doling out medical certs, or superb acting skills displayed by staff.
Often companies will employ a tracking system, which observes the frequency of absence, and any emergent patterns. There are sometimes very genuine cases which require management, and sadly, there are also many disingenuous “sickies” which also have to be managed.
The availability of hints and tips online – regarding how to successfully convince your manager that you are ill, often leaves companies with no choice but to employ external assistance.
At Bluemoon Investigations, we regularly undertake investigative assignments relating to employee absence and long-term illness cases. But when there are now resources out there which assist people in, effectively, taking unauthorised time off through fake illness, this is making it harder for HR departments and Management to crack down on this behaviour”.