No Image Available

Seb Anthony

Read more from Seb Anthony

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Dubious sickies – shop those skivers!



We've all had those moments when the lure of daytime tv and pyjamas is almost too much to resist - but of course we drag ourselves into work like crusading heroes.

But what about those employees that don't?

I'd like to hear your stories of dubious sickies - have you ever felt suspicious that a co-worker's claims of bubonic plague are a little too convenient for a Monday morning?

Have you ever claimed illness to stay off work? Have you ever been caught out?

Post your stories below or email me if you'd like to remain anonymous - we don't want those sickie criminals dragging themselves up from their death beds to take revenge!


Sarah Fletcher, HR Zone and TrainingZONE Journalist.
sarah fletcher

3 Responses

  1. I thought everybody knew….
    I thought everybody knew – it’s physically impossible to catch, or suffer from, bubonic plague on Tue, Wed or Thurs – you can only get it on a Fri or a Mon – unless you are on shift, at which point the known laws of the Universe change…

  2. The Best Excuse
    The best excuse I heard was when a member of staff phoned in saying they had 24 hour flu. Miraculously they had recovered by the following morning.

  3. It’s about attitude and your job satisfaction
    In the last 6 years I’ve not had a single day’s sick leave. However, in that time I’ve had two slipped disks in my lower spine, plus the normal range of colds etc. Every day for 6 months (when my back was bad) I would say to myself “am I in more pain than yesterday?” and “would my pain be any better if I stayed at home?”. The answer to both always seemed to be “no”, so I kept going in. Obviously I enjoy my job, [and also I probably have an over-inflated sense of my own self importance (“the company can’t cope without me” – aye right)], but it was frustrating to be managing people who phoned in sick with a “sore back, can’t make it in” (and they were fine the next day). Perhaps I wasn’t doing the right thing to keep struggling in to work (although this is of course in line with medical advice for back pain).

    I don’t think that these people were skiving, as such, but perhaps their attitude to their pain or their work was different: if they don’t enjoy their job as much, or succumb to the “poor me” approach to pain/illness, then they will feel perfectly justified in taking time off when not in peak condition. If we address their attitudes to their job and their health, then they are more likely to come to work.


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!