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Unhappy with holidays sanctioned? Fall sick...

More British workers will call in "sick" on Monday than on any other day in 2006, reveals a research.

india Updated: Feb 06, 2006 13:25 IST

More British workers will call in "sick" on Monday than on any other day in 2006, many opting to make their excuses by text message or by phoning in with an artistic cough or splutter, research revealed on Monday.

Widespread dissatisfaction with holiday allowances combined with a post-Christmas comedown will contribute to thousands of Britons, who work some of the longest hours in Europe, staying at home to recharge their batteries.

"Early February is a very popular time for taking a 'sickie', the first bank holiday still seems a long way off, the days are gloomy and many people are still feeling the post-Christmas blues," said Cary Cooper, a professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University, who headed the study.

Over 4,000 workers took part in a poll by digital channel Sky Travel which showed 78 per cent of respondents were reluctant to use their holiday allowances so early in the year, preferring to wait until spring before taking official leave.

The average official holiday entitlement was 22 days a year.

The findings threw up a couple of gender-related anomalies. While men and women will take an average of nine "sickies" a year, female workers believe they could get away with taking twice as many days off than their male colleagues.

The survey also found that while a cowardly 17 per cent of workers would get someone else to call in sick on their behalf, 28 per cent opted for the tried and tested cough and splutter phone call.

As for regional variations workers in the northern city of Liverpool admitted to taking on average an extra 13 days a year off compared with a mere three days for Londoners.

The study offered some consolation to long-suffering bosses with five per cent of those polled saying they had been caught out -- including being spotted having lunch with friends.

One respondent even admitted being forced to hobble around the office on crutches for two weeks after claiming to have been knocked down by a car.

First Published: Feb 06, 2006 13:25 IST