It's always been surprising just how many staff who, on national TV, admit to pulling a sickie without actually being anywhere near unwell. Well it seems that employers are cottoning onto this problem.
According to a survey by CareerBuilder of 194 managing directors, over half will call employees to check that they are actually unwell. Further, 9 per cent said that they have driven to an employees home to see if the illness is genuine and 13 per cent have sacked a member of staff for faking sickness. Some employers now require a doctors note, others get another member of staff to call the employee and a number check the social networking pages of staff to see what they're up to.
The president of CareerBuilder reckons that 'if you lie about the reason for needing time off you seriously hurt your credibility with your employer'. He could be right.
The excuses for being off sick are something of a work of art. The best include - having a foot stuck in a toilet, having a garden gnome thrown through a window, being attacked by a shark, witnessing a person being pushed under a train, being intoxicated by burning vines and having to take a mother shopping.
This was first published in June 2011