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Workers faking sick leave: India 2nd worst

Last updated on: September 6, 2011 12:09 IST

India is the second worst country in the world when it comes to workers availing of sick leave, even when they are not ill, a survey has revealed.

The survey, conducted by Australian workforce managers Kronos across Australia, China, France, the UK, India, Mexico and the US, found China taking first place at 71 per cent, followed by India at 62 per cent and then Australia at 58 per cent.

Feeling stressed was the number one cause for sick leaves suggested that managers needed to recognise the causes of stress.

The survey looks at which regions have the highest rates of absenteeism, how the rest of the workforce is affected when employees call in sick, and what employers can do to better manage the problem. 

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Workers faking sick leave: India 2nd worst

Last updated on: September 6, 2011 12:09 IST

Some interesting findings of the survey are given below:

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Workers faking sick leave: India 2nd worst

Last updated on: September 6, 2011 12:09 IST

Asked why they have ever called in sick when they were not actually sick, the overwhelming response in every region was that employees felt stressed/needed a day off: 71 per cent in Canada, 62 per cent in the US, 60 per cent in China, 57 per cent in Great Britain, 53 per cent in France, 51 per cent in Australia, 46 per cent in Mexico, and 44 per cent in India.

Other reasons selected included needing to take care of a sick child, having too heavy a workload, and not having enough paid leave.

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Workers faking sick leave: India 2nd worst

Last updated on: September 6, 2011 12:09 IST

So, how did they spend their day off?

The top two activities in every region except India and Mexico were staying home and watching TV or staying in bed.

In India and Mexico, staying home and watching TV was the top choice, but meeting up with friends and relatives was next on the list.

Asked what their employers could do to prevent them from calling in sick to work when they weren't actually sick, the top response in every region but France was to offer employees the opportunity to work flexible hours.

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Workers faking sick leave: India 2nd worst

Last updated on: September 6, 2011 12:09 IST

In France, employees said that summer Fridays -- being offered the opportunity to take Fridays in the summer off and make them up during the week -- would make the biggest impact.

Being given the opportunity to work from home, and the opportunity to take unpaid leave, also rated high among employees around the world.

A high percentage of employees in China -- 45 per cent -- also felt that providing more paid time off to employees would make a difference -- this was higher than in any other region: 38 per cent in Canada, 34 per cent in the US, 32 per cent in Great Britain, 25 per cent in Australia, 24 per cent in India, 15 per cent in France, and 12 per cent in Mexico.

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Workers faking sick leave: India 2nd worst

Last updated on: September 6, 2011 12:09 IST

The majority of employees in all regions said that they were negatively impacted when co-workers called in sick, with the top reason being that they had to take on the work or shift of the missing employee.

The second reason in every region except Mexico and France was an increase in stress. Employees in Mexico and France don't get stressed as much, but they do worry about things getting overlooked or forgotten.

Asked whether or not their employers used an automated system to keep track of absences, only in Canada, China, and India did the majority -- 53 per cent, 56 per cent, and 53 per cent respectively -- of employees say yes.

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Workers faking sick leave: India 2nd worst

Last updated on: September 6, 2011 12:09 IST

In all other regions, the majority said no or that they didn't know.

Unscheduled absences, like when an employee calls in sick at the last minute, cost organisations 8.7 per cent of payroll each year as discussed in a recent survey conducted by Mercer and sponsored by Kronos .

The Kronos Global Absence survey was conducted online within the U.S. between July 19-21, 2011 among 2,293 adults (aged 18 and over), of whom 1,209 are employed full-time and/or part time; within Canada between July 18-25, 2011 among 1,006 adults (aged 18 and older) of whom 538 are employed full-time and/or part-time.

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Workers faking sick leave: India 2nd worst

Last updated on: September 6, 2011 12:09 IST

The survey was done in Great Britain, France, Australia, Mexico, China, and India between July 19-27, 2011 among 6,153 adults (aged 16 and older) of whom 4,860 are employed full-time and/or part-time.

Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region, and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

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Workers faking sick leave: India 2nd worst

Last updated on: September 6, 2011 12:09 IST

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments.

Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words 'margin of error' as they are misleading.

All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100 per cent response rates.

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Workers faking sick leave: India 2nd worst

Last updated on: September 6, 2011 12:09 IST

These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys.

The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.