Drama in the workplace – tackling TV ‘sickies’

02/07/2019

Games of Thrones, Killing Eve and Breaking Bad are all television phenomena that have helped to fuel the growth of the nation’s new favourite past time of ‘binge watching’ box sets in recent years.

With the increasing popularity of platforms like Netflix, more and more of us are devouring an entire TV series in just a matter of days. 

As a new survey reveals the impact that is having in the workplace, our employment Partner Julia Fitzsimmons has this advice:

Whilst it’s not surprising that more sick days happen on Monday than any other day of the week, the reasons why those absences from work are happening may raise an eyebrow or two.

It seems there’s a new excuse overtaking the traditional reasons for a ‘sickie’ such as a hangover or post weekend blues – binge watching a favourite TV show.

In a recent survey by the Radio Times, nearly one in five (18%) of the 5,500 people questioned admitted that they had missed a day’s work so they could catch up with the latest box set.

Unauthorised absences can have a serious impact on employers and their productivity. It’s estimated that sickness absence costs the country around £16 billion a year and the average employee takes around six and a half days a year of sick leave. And with employees sometimes taking two days to make an absence look genuine, how do you tackle this? 

Every organisation, no matter how small, should have a robust absence and disciplinary policy so you can address reoccurring instances, particularly if you have your suspicions that the sickness may not be genuine. 

An additional option is to offer ‘duvet days’ which allows workers to take an unplanned day off. As well as fostering goodwill amongst your staff, it can put paid to extended absences while someone works their way through the back catalogue of the latest trending TV.

If you need help preparing an absence and disciplinary policy for your business or want to discuss employment issues around sick leave, Julia can be contacted on the details below.

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