December most popular month for calling in sick

PHOTO: December most popular month for calling in sick

SINGAPORE - One in five Singapore employees are inclined to feign illness so that they can skip work, a survey has found.

Of these people. most pretended to be sick because they did not feel like working on that particular day.

The survey conducted by JobsCentral also found that headaches and giddiness were the most common ailments cited for sick leave.

The most popular month for calling in sick is December.

More details are available in the press release below:

Nearly one in five Singapore workers (18.3 per cent) admitted to feigning sickness to get medical leave. Of these, about half (49.1 per cent) revealed they would play 'hooky' from work three or more times a year.

On the other hand, out of the 77.7 per cent of employers who would perform checks when their staff is absent due to illnesses, most of them (82.7 per cent) rely on medical certificates to verify sickness claims. Only 12.3 per cent said they would call the employee to check, while 5 per cent would go to the extent of asking a co-worker to check on the employee.

In addition, most workers (42 per cent) who faked illnesses to avoid work did so because they just didn't feel like working. A further 30.7 per cent cited plans outside work, while 7.6 and 7.3 per cent did so because they overslept and felt burnt out in their jobs respectively.

Most common reasons for healthy workers taking sick leave

These are the latest findings from an online survey conducted by JobsCentral from August to October this year. A total of 3,299 employees and 256 hiring managers took part in this survey.

"The survey results show that there is mutual responsibility and trust between employers and employees. A large majority of employees are honest when it comes to taking sick leave and few employers are so mistrusting of their employees to resort to invasion checks," says Michelle Lim, Chief Operating Officer of JobsCentral Group.

"As for the healthy 20 per cent who used illnesses to dodge work, they risk jeopardising their jobs and careers. On the other hand, an overly suspicious employer or manager that constantly checks on employees is also detrimental to work relationships; few employees would tolerate working for managers that do not trust them," she adds.

Number of medical leaves peak in December

Employers usually observe a surge in the number of reported sick leaves in December (20.2 per cent), followed by February (13.1 per cent). January (12.1 per cent) and June (11.7 per cent) are also popular months for calling in sick as well.

Tendency to take bogus sick leave not profoundly linked to job satisfaction

When asked to describe their current job satisfaction, only a marginally larger proportion of workers (50.7 per cent) who took bogus sick leave voiced discontentment with their jobs. This suggests that employees who feign illness to skip work may not necessarily be unhappy with their jobs.

Headaches and feelings of giddiness are the most common reported ailments

Headaches/giddiness (41.5 per cent), diarrhoea/food poisoning (18.3 per cent) and stomach cramps (10.7 per cent) are the three most common excuses used by healthy workers who took sick leave.

Bogus medical leave less likely among senior staff

Experienced workers are less likely to feign illnesses than their less experienced colleagues. 19.8 per cent of workers with 0 to 4 years of work experience confessed to faking their medical leave, compared to those with 10 or more years of experience (13.1 per cent).

Workers with gross salary of over S$5,000 least likely to take bogus sick leave

While across all salary ranges, the percentages of workers that will take bogus sick leave is around the 20 per cent mark, only 14.2 per cent workers that earn over S$5,000 would do so.