French workers are the most likely to call in sick, research finds

- Leadership - Dec 02, 2016

French employees are the worst in Europe when it comes to faking illness in order to have a day off work, according to new European-wide research. Brits are among the most honest workers in Europe when it comes to pulling ‘sickies’.

Contrary to popular belief, less than a third of Brits (29 percent) fake being ill to get days off work, a modest figure compared to other workers across Europe.

The research, conducted by Powwownow, found that French workers are the ones who take advantage of sick days the most, with over half of the French workforce (58 percent) admitting to faking an illness to their employer at least once a year.

Surprisingly, the regimented Germans are nearly as bad as the French when it comes to faking illness, with nearly half (49 percent) admitting they have lied to their employer about it.

Workers across Holland and Sweden were found to be least likely to fake sick days, with just 11 percent and 15 percent respectively admitting to doing so. Interestingly, these two countries came out on top when asked about the work-life balance offered by their employers.

Across the continent the research has shown more women fake being sick compared to men, with over a third (38 percent) of women confessing to doing so, compared to just a fifth of men (21 percent).

It also seems that the younger generation are more inclined to pull a sickie, with the majority of 18-34 year olds (85 percent) admitting to pretending to be ill, compared to just under a third of over 45 year olds (32 percent).

Jason Downes MD of Powwownow, said: “It’s interesting to see that so few Brits actually fake an illness to get off work. One might assume the figure would be higher, but it’s encouraging to see nonetheless!

“I think it’s fascinating that Dutch and Swedish workers are least likely to lie about being sick, as they are also given the most favourable work-life balance in Europe. The two certainly go hand-in hand; if employers look after their staff by offering flexibility, their workers will be more willing to work in return.

“In the UK we can certainly learn something from these results; if employers keep their workforce happy and motivated, they are much more likely to have a better work ethic and avoid faking an illness.”

Read the December 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine. 

Follow @BizReviewEurope

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