Six out of ten will be sick this month

2004

Six out of 10 workers say that they are likely to have a day off sick this month, with more than one in ten planning to ‘pull a sickie’.

The research comes hard on the heals of figures released yesterday that found more than eight out of ten employees have feigned illness so that they can take a day of work.

This latest survey of 1,000 workers carried out for the Consumer Health Information Centre (CHIC) and charity Developing Patient Partnerships (DPP), found that nearly one in four (23 per cent) of us are anticipating entering 2004 with the January blues.

But one in ten (13 per cent) workers admitted they are already planning to ‘pull a sickie’ when there is nothing wrong with them at all, rising to over a third (34 per cent) of 16-24 year olds.

Flu is the most common culprit for people taking time off work (cited by one in three of those surveyed), followed by colds (23 per cent), headaches and hangovers (13 per cent) and stress (12 per cent).

But according to the report, we can do much more to help ourselves when winter ailments strike.

Dr Simon Fradd, chairman of DPP, said: "Many people waste time seeing their GP for minor ailments, particularly during winter, when in fact there is plenty that people can do for themselves.

"By using over-the-counter treatments with advice from pharmacists, people can feel better quicker without the hassle of going to the surgery.

"Pharmacists are experts in medicines and as a doctor I would recommend my patients get their advice on how to cope with minor ailments."

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