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Most sick days taken in November

Unplanned absence was higher than in January and February last year

The day most employees call in sick is the last Monday in November, research shows.

Data from a subset of 500 employers using e-days’ absence management system reveals that last year, 107 employees took unplanned absence on 26 November.

This was far higher than the 93 who took days off on Blue Monday (third Monday of January) or the 86 on National Sickie Day (first Monday of February).

The next two highest days for unplanned absence were 1 March at 103 days – when the Beast from the East teamed up with Storm Emma to create weather chaos – and the first Monday of November at 101 days.

November is the worst month overall for unplanned absence, with an average of 88 days per month taken off unexpectedly, as opposed to the months of January and February when 77 days and 76 days were taken respectively.

The month of May is when employees are least likely to call in sick, with an average of just 51 days taken off.

Clare Avery, HR manager at e-days, said it is important for employers to understand their own data, employee demographics and behaviours so that they can take strategic actions to support employee wellbeing and reduce their absence costs.

“If employers understand the reasons behind absences this can reduce the likelihood of them happening in future,” she explained.