Britons binge drink, then stagger into work

2006

Despite their reputation for binge drinking, British workers play hard and work hard, with nearly two thirds refusing to throw a sickie even after a night out on the tiles, a new survey has suggested.

The study from recruiter Monster showed that little more than a third of Britons had ever taken time off work because of a hangover. Nearly half always struggled into work however hungover they were, a quarter said they had taken several days off and 14 per cent had called in sick because of booze just the once.

Monster said the reason for such commitment to the day job was a "hard-working ethos and increasingly competitive workplace".

More businesses were offering financial incentives to encourage people to turn up for work and investing more time and money in preventing ill health at work, it argued.

Sick pay currently costs the industry about £32bn a year, according to the figures from Cass Business School, with £4bn of this purely based on absenteeism alone.

"With the arrival of spring and evenings staying lighter for longer, we believe people will be out socialising even more," said Alan Townsend, chief operating officer for Monster UK & Ireland.

"Employers need to look at the culture within their own business and get the balance right."

Despite this, the lure of the World Cup may prove an attraction too many – earlier this month consultancy Croner said the UK was set to see a surge of sickies during the tournament, which starts in June.