Booming head, dry throat, bit shaky? Your Christmas hangover will cost £65m

Dec 13 2004 by Nic Paton Print This Article

This year’s round of office Christmas parties will leave British businesses with a £65 million hangover from people calling in sick because they have over-indulged the night before, according to a study.

Norwich Union Healthcare has predicted some one million workers will take sick leave this festive season, and the bill to the British economy will run into millions.

Government’s calls for people to lead healthier lifestyles appear to be having little effect in dampening the Christmas spirit this year, with four out of five workers admitting they will be indulging as much, or more, than previous years.

While women say they only plan to drink around half as many units as men, they are more likely to phone in sick with a made-up excuse.

More than half of the men polled said they would tell their boss the truth.

Six out of ten of those questioned said they would claim to be suffering from food poisoning, a cold or migraine.

One in 10 would heroically say they had to nurse a sick relative.

Other popular excuses included transport problems and waiting at home for the gas engineer or plumber.

More than half said they had taken one day off and one in four admitted to two or more days off following a work Christmas party because of over indulgence, the poll reported.

Dr Doug Wright, clinical development manager at Norwich Union Healthcare said: “For most of us staying in bed probably seems the best way to cope with a hangover. Sadly this may not be an option, so keeping up energy levels with regular food and fluids is the best way to get through the working day.”