Bosses reveal the excuses they actually believe when staff call in sick

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Tom Fordy

Are you thinking of pulling a sickie this week?

Let’s be honest now, we’re ALL thinking about pulling a sickie this week.

The problem, of course, is that after years of rinsing every excuse under the sun, bosses are wise to it. 

Good news though – AXA PPP surveyed 1,000 business leaders to find out which excuses bosses actually find believable.

So before you start coming up with the most creative sickie reasons possible (we’ve tried the house burned down and being called up to Hogwarts – it doesn’t work, trust us) it’s worth taking a look at the survey results.

They cite flu as the most acceptable excuse – but even then, it only works with one in four bosses – while just 20 per cent fall for the trusty cold, migraines and anxiety.

The ten most believable excuses are:

  1. Flu
  2. Back pain
  3. Injury by accident
  4. Stress
  5. Elective surgery
  6. Depression
  7. Anxiety
  8. Common cold
  9. Migraine
  10. None of the above

Which, according to the survey, means that no matter you say, eight per cent of the heartless rotters still won’t believe you.

Best get working on perfecting that “sickly voice” you keep for very special occasions. 


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Tom Fordy

Tom Fordy is a London-based writer. He is former men's magazine editor and is now works as a lifestyle and entertainment journalist and opinionated beard for hire. His interests include the great literary works of the 20th century, New Wave European cinema and the career of Hulk Hogan. Follow Tom on Twitter: @TheTomFordy

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