Tracking attendance: Top reasons employees call in sick

An estimated 33% of employees have played hooky from the office at least once this year by calling in sick when they were well, according to’s annual survey on absenteeism.

The majority of employers surveyed said they generally don’t question the reason for an employee’s absence. However, 31% have checked up on an employee who called in sick and 18% have gone as far as firing an employee for missing work without a legitimate excuse.

From the survey of more than 6.800 workers and 3,300 employers, found the most common reasons for calling in sick, including:

  • 9% wanted to miss a meeting, buy some time to work on an overdue project or avoid the wrath of a boss or coworker
  • 30% needed to relax and recharge
  • 27% went to a doctor’s appointment
  • 22% needed to catch up on sleep
  • 14% wanted to run personal errands
  • 34% simply didn’t feel like going to work that day

Of the 31% of employers who checked up on an employee who called in sick:

  • 71% required the employee to show a doctor’s note
  • 56% called the employee at home
  • 18% had another worker call the employee
  • 17% drove by the employee’s home

"It’s in your best interest to be up-front with your employer and chances are you’ll get the time you need," said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at "More companies today are moving toward a Paid Time Off system, giving employees more flexibility in how they categorize time away from the office. Employers are also expanding the definition of the sick day with 65 percent stating that they allow their team members to use sick days for mental health days."

Whether you require employees to have a legitimate excuse or not, tracking employee attendance can be one of the most burdensome and paperwork-filled tasks managers must deal with.

If you’re looking for a way to eliminate attendance paperwork and move to an electronic attendance tracking platform, we have a free webinar coming up that could offer a solution.

In our free, 30-minute “lunch and learn” presentation you’ll learn how unscheduled absenteeism affects your bottom line, the benefits of electronic recordkeeping and how software can help you get rid of employe attendance paperwork forever.

Software Basics: Track Attendance Electronically Like a Pro is sponsored by Gradience and created specifically for workplace software beginners interested in reducing unwanted paperwork and moving to a “greener” electronic solution.

Sign up today for Software Basics: Track Attendance Electronically Like a Pro on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 1 p.m., ET.

View upcoming webinars at

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