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In UK law, are your employers permitted to phone you at home when you're off sick if is not written into your contract

00:00 Thu 15th Nov 2001 |

asks Trimbo:
A.
In the UK, there's no law which prevents an employer calling an employee at home. As a general rule, people who are employed in the public sector will not be called from home, but in the public sector anything goes. Except when the calls are constant - then it turns into harassment.

Q. Don't employers believe that their staff are sick
A.
Not always - and who can blame them: a recent newspaper survey found that one in four of people in the UK has a 'sickie' - usually on a Monday, and it's usually planned in advance.

Q. What sort of excuses do workers use
A.
Favourite excuse is the 'fantasy stomach upset' which almost half of those questioned had used. This was closely followed by 'being up sick all night'. Other 'illnesses' included a bad cold, food poisoning, headaches, toothaches and allergies. About 25% put on a weak voice or cough when they call in, and a few even manage to cry!


But some excuses weren't quite so sensible.

Q. Such as
A.
Would you believe someone who called into tell you that they couldn't go to work because they were being questioned by the FBI Or abducted by aliens Or that their budgie sat on the alarm clock and it didn't go off While you couldn't prove that they were lying, some of the more obvious lies included going to granny's funeral for the 3rd time.

Q. What are the real reasons for 'sickies'
A.
A hangover is the biggest, followed by tiredness, hating the job or feeling as if you deserve a day off. Some people took sickies to avoid certain meetings.

On the positive side, a sunny day usually sees a few sickies, and how else would you get time off to go for an interview for another job

Q. Who is most likely to take a sickie
A.
People who are older, male and live in Yorkshire, Humberside, East Anglia and the North-West are the most likely to skive. However, most keep it to one or two days a year.

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By Sheena Miller

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