‘Tis the season – for a sickie?

Yes, it’s that time of year again; the flu season. Add the Covid-19 virus into the mix and employers can soon find themselves in the middle of a “sickie” epidemic. But what can you do if you think your employees are just in need of a duvet day?

Whilst it may seem harmless, Christmas time is rife for the “sickie”, which it is estimated  costs employers, up to £29 billion each year.

But it’s not always confined to the holidays, the first weekend after dry January is the one to watch, as the first post-Christmas pay-day when many are tempted to over indulge – and employers may see a spike in sick days then.

Around 9 out of every 10 businesses have had an employment related issue as a result of Christmas party antics, ranging from hellish hangovers to festive fisticuffs. Many employers will have thought twice about holding their Christmas parties this year because of Covid-19 which might negate the risk of some of those “seasonal sickies”. Plus, since government guidelines recommend that attendees take lateral flow tests prior to attending a Christmas party it should limit the number of employees claiming a potential need to isolate the day after or need to pop out to get a PCR.

Of course, you should always tread carefully - as numbers of Covid-19 cases are significantly on the rise again, some employees may feel anxious about going into the workplace where they are unable to work from home. Keep communications open with these people and see if you can take extra Covid-19 secure measures to make them feel safer. As we have said before, good communication is normally the golden ticket to a happy workplace.

If you would like some more information or guidance around sickness procedures at your workplace, or you are an employee that would benefit from some advice, contact the employment team at Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.


Heather Love

Heather Love

Senior Associate Solicitor

Tel: +44 (0) 1306 502967

Office: Dorking

Email: h.love@downslaw.co.uk