National Sickie Day - media myth or reality?

Is the first Monday in February really the day that most employees will call in sick?

First published on Thursday, Aug 13, 2020

Last updated on Saturday, Feb 03, 2024

3 min read

Over the years, reports say the first Monday in February has the highest employee sick rates. That's why it’s dubbed “National Sickie Day”.

It’s unclear if that’s down to real sickness—or something a little more fictional.

So, is it actually the day when most people call in sick? Is it a media myth or a genuine risk for your staffing levels? And does your business have its very own National Sickie Day?

Putting the figures to the test

As an absence management software provider, we decided to put it to the test.

After analysing the sickness absence data in our software for last year, we discovered that the day most employees called in sick was...

The second Monday in December. In fact, the first Monday in February ranked only 21st on the list when it came to sickness rates.

Even though it isn’t quite ‘National Sickie Day,’ there was a 16% increase in the amount of people calling in sick compared to an average Monday in 2023.

That's not all.

While 'National Sickie Day' is more of a myth than reality, 30% of sickness absences do occur on Mondays, making it the most popular day for staff to call in sick.

The cost of absence to your business

Many businesses see absence as one of those things. A pain, but one that you have to grin and bear.

According to a CIPD report, the average UK worker takes 7.8 sick days per year. This absence is the highest level reported for over a decade. And it’s costing the UK economy as much as £43bn*.

When you look at it that way, it’s no longer a minor problem. And it could be costing your business.

So, how much does absence cost your business? And how do you record and track peaks in unplanned staff leave?

The benefits of monitoring absence

Having the right absence management software in place is essential for any business. Especially one that accurately records not just sickness absence but all types of absences.

You need to be able to keep on top of absence issues, discover the true cost, and uncover any problematic trends.

We know that the workplace can be busy. Meaning that you’re not always aware of any potential underlying absence issues.

But, with the correct absence monitoring systems in place, these absence patterns are easy to see. So business owners like you get the valuable insights you need. Paving the way to make data-driven decisions to support workers—reducing and even preventing any unnecessary sickness.

What's your sickie day?

According to our data, we think ‘National Sickie Day’ should fall on the second Monday in December.

Yet rather than worrying about the employees in other businesses, it’s best to concentrate on what’s happening in yours.

Want to know when your company ‘sickie day’ is and how much absence is costing your business?

Well, you’ll need smart absence management software. Find out how BrightHR’s software can help you manage your absences and more.

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