Workers 'Taking 9million Bogus Sick Days a Year'

Daily Mail (London), April 28, 2004 | Go to article overview

Workers 'Taking 9million Bogus Sick Days a Year'


FOUR in ten requests to doctors for sick notes could be bogus, according to a study.

The report claims that up to nine million of the 22million requests made are suspicious - an average of 577 for each GP.

Another survey found that an estimated three million workers had considered asking their GP for bogus certificates.

The study of NHS family doctors comes amid growing concern about Britain's sicknote culture, with many GPs agreeing to write the notes on demand rather than act as 'health police'.

With a large number of complaints - such as stress, depression and back pain - doctors only have the patient's word to go on.

Official figures show a record 5.9million workers at any time are too sick to go to work.

Around 166million sick days are taken each year - an average of 6.8 days for every employee - at an estimated cost to business of [pounds sterling]11billion.

The number of people claiming long-term sickness benefits - those who have been ill for 'Not for doctors to police health' more than a year - has risen from 500,000 in 1980 to two million today.

The bill for sickness and disability payouts is expected to hit [pounds sterling]25billion next year, up from [pounds sterling]17.7billion in 1997.

Although sick pay regulations do not require employees to obtain notes from GPs unless they have been off work for more than seven days, many employers demand them even for minor ailments such as colds and headaches in an attempt to cut absenteeism.

The survey, by Norwich Union Healthcare, found doctors believe a quarter of the requests they received are 'questionable' and nearly a fifth of them were invalid.

In total, 41 per cent of requests could be bogus, the survey suggests.

The most frequent reasons given are back pain, depression, stress at work and elsewhere and flu. More than a fifth of the 255 GPs interviewed said 20 per cent of their patients were not working because of health reasons.

Dr Ann Robinson, one of the respondents, said: 'GPs want to treat genuinely ill patients and don't want to act as policemen, identifying those who are claiming bogus sick notes.

'Employers need to be more flexible with their workforce and hospital services need to provide fast-track diagnostic and treatment centres so people can get back to work as quickly as possible.

' It's well- known that the longer you're off work, the harder it is to get back.' In another study for Norwich Union, an estimated three million workers admitted asking a GP for a bogus sick note, with twice as many men as women prepared to throw a 'sickie'.

The Health of the Nation Index survey of 1,000 adults found the main reasons workers would give to get a sick note were a personal crisis, too much stress in the workplace, having a holiday request refused and tiredness.

The British Medical Association wants GPs to be freed from the task of writing sick notes for workers.

A spokesman said: 'It is not the job of family doctors to police occupational health for employers.

'Employers are telling staff they have to have a note from their doctor and this is placing an enormous burden on GPs.

Doctors are placed in a difficult-position but are likely to accept the patient's word. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Workers 'Taking 9million Bogus Sick Days a Year'
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.