January can make even the most spirited of us feel low and miserable. Tackling those New Year’s resolutions, ‘Dry January’, Christmas debts, and as if that isn’t enough, the addition of cold and miserable weather, it’s no wonder many of us can’t wait for January to end. However, do not despair if January is getting you down, the end of the month is just around the corner, and not only does that entail the first pay day of the year that most of us have been eagerly anticipating, but it is an excuse to let our hair down and overcome those January blues.

Traditionally the first Monday of February is when the greatest amount of people in the UK will take a day off sick, regardless of their excuses being genuine or not. The annual event, which this year will fall on Monday 5th February, is labelled the official ‘National Sickie Day’ and will cost a lot of businesses valuable time and money. In 2017, reports claimed a staggering 350,000 employees were expected to call in sick last year and this year the figure is expected to be even higher! Many will be watching this year’s US Super Bowl; which takes place on Sunday 4th February. The UK is 6 hours ahead of Minnesota in the US ,where the event is taking place; therefore for those Brits that’ll be watching, the game will air live on BBC or Sky Sports at 11.30pm (GMT) and typically lasts 3-4 hours long, resulting in many late nights and probably sore heads the next morning. This will certainly contribute to the absence statistics but there are other common contributing factors:

  • It’s the first weekend after Dry January, so what better excuse than to go out and have a few too many drinks to celebrate! But you’ll be suffering from the consequences of a dreaded hangover on Monday morning, resulting in many Brits calling their boss to have the day off.
  • Finally! The first post-Christmas pay day! We’ve stretched our pockets out far enough to last through the month of January, we deserve to splash a bit of cash on a night out or a last minute weekend away.
  • For some of us, we’ve entered the New Year re-evaluating our lives and our careers and spent January planning career changes and applying for jobs. National Sickie Day is also combined with the day most popular for job interviews in February - and many Brits take the day off for this reason.

The average person is not likely to admit to their boss that they are hungover or had a late night that has resulted in their bed-ridden state the following morning, and definitely no one would tell them they aren’t able to come into work as they are interviewing for a new position elsewhere.

Instead common excuses revolve around flu-related illness, an injury, or even a family emergency. However, using the flu card too many times will attract suspicions.

Therefore, as we approach National Sickie Day, we’ve taken a look at some of the worst excuses for calling in sick, heard by real employers. Some of them are humorous, others are completely bizarre, and we don’t recommend you using any of them!

  1. The employee had to reschedule a manicure because some of her artificial nails fell off.
  2. The employee left all his clothes at the laundrette and had nothing to wear.
  3. There was a solar eclipse and the employee wasn’t sure it was safe to leave the house.
  4. A dog swallowed the employee’s car keys, so she was waiting for them to come out.
  5. The employee couldn’t squeeze into her uniform and called in ‘fat’.
  6. The employee broke his arm wrestling a female bodybuilder.
  7. The employee said their phone exploded and it hurt their hand.
  8. The employee didn’t have enough to gas to get to work.
  9. The employee said they were arrested after a wild night out.
  10. The employee told her boss “My horoscope says work is bad for me this week.”

We don’t advise you calling in sick without valid reason on any occasion, but if you happen to fall sick on National Sickie Day or any other day for that matter, we definitely don’t recommend you use any of these excuses if you wish to be taken seriously by your employer!