What is 'National Sickie Day'?
Coined ‘National Sickie Day’, the first Monday in February, is statistically the day when the greatest number of employees call in sick and take the day off work.
This year National Sickie Day falls on February 7th 2022.
Why does this happen?
In January we had ‘Blue Monday’ and you’d think by February things would start to perk up? Not likely, according to research conducted by ELAS who noticed the ‘pulling a sickie’ trend back in 2011.
It is suspected that a number of factors contribute to this ‘no show’ day. Namely, the gloomy weather, post-holiday blues, it’s the first payday after Christmas, and the first weekend after dry January! Plus, Monday is traditionally the most notorious day for absence!
Employees may give other reasons for not showing up that day. Some of the most ridiculous include:
- “I’ve caught a cold after leaving my fridge door open”
- “The cat stole my house keys”
- “I’ve poked myself in the eye when combing my hair”
Whilst it’s amusing to have a bit of a giggle at some of these bizarre excuses there’s a good reason not to be too flippant. What could be the more significant issues behind many favouring their duvet over their desk at the beginning of February?
The Importance of Mental Health
Often, employees lie about why they stay home because they’re afraid of the stigma that comes with admitting to mental health issues. Physical ailments (such as colds and flu) are seen more culturally acceptable as an excuse for absence than disclosing a mental health issue.
Companies and society as a whole need to do more, in terms of talking about what is causing this suffering, for many people on a particular day. Talk to your staff and colleagues to understand if they’re happy, and if not, how can you support them?
Destigmatizing mental health within your organisation will help more people feel comfortable accessing resources and taking time off when they need it, leading to a happier workforce and improved productivity.
National Sickie Day reminds us that sick days are a worker’s right and if your mental health is suffering then it’s ok to take a break.