Younger employees take more fake sick days

The poll offers a look at morale among middle managers. "Thirty-six percent of middle managers admit to faking a sick day in the past twelve months and forty-seven percent believe that their counterparts are being paid more than they are," says Peter Gahan. (Credit: Neil Bates/Flickr)

A recent poll reveals that as many as 39 percent of Australian employees ages 18 to 24 admit to playing hooky in the past 12 months. Among workers ages 25 to 34, 43 percent admitted to faking a sick day.

The poll measured how 1,035 employed Australians view their work.

“The people less likely to fake a sick day were workers over 45 years old or in executive and senior management positions,” says Professor Peter Gahan, director of the Centre for Workplace Leadership at the University of Melbourne.

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“These more senior employees were also more likely to look forward to returning to work after their weekend.”

The poll also found that full-time workers were more motivated to play sick than part-time workers, and otherwise less positive about going to work on Monday.

“The results show that if you take a sickie, you’re less likely to look forward to going to work on a Monday,” says Gahan.

“This may imply that people who take ‘mental health days’ do so because they feel disgruntled at work, and that those who work part-time are more enthusiastic about returning to work.”

Interestingly, while workplace leaders look forward to work, their employees do not. Only nineteen percent of senior and executive managers suffered “Monday-itis,” in contrast to 42 percent of total employees.

“There are also warning bells for middle managers,” says Gahan.

“Thirty-six percent of middle managers admit to faking a sick day in the past twelve months and forty-seven percent believe that their counterparts are being paid more than they are.”

A future poll, examining small and medium businesses, will be released in February in the lead up to the Future of Work 2015 conference in April.

Source: University of Melbourne