More than 200,000 healthy Brits may 'bunk off' this 'National Sickie Day'

More than 200,000 Brits "pulled a sickie" on the first Monday of February last year. [Photo: Getty]

February 3 marks “National Sickie Day”, when workers are supposedly most likely to bunk off.

The chilly weather and gloomy mornings led to 215,000 Brits not turning up on the first Monday of February last year, the BBC reported.

READ MORE: Workers took almost 52m sickies in 2019 - costing the UK £5.6bn

#NationalSickieDay is trending on Twitter, with more than 1,650 posts “celebrating” a day of curling up on the sofa.

“Pulling a sickie” is not unique to this one day, however, with 8.6 million Brits “bunking” throughout 2019.

This is based on a survey by the media company Kantar, which asked 1,250 adults their working habits over a week in January this year.

The IT company Insight extrapolated this out to the almost 33 million working people in Britain.

Some argue National Sickie Day comes seven months too early.

Employment law firm Elas found September 16 is when most bunk off, with nearly a quarter (24%) citing “stomach trouble”.

READ MORE: Player has contract cancelled after pulling 'sickie' to watch Ajax in Champions League

Of the Insight survey, a quarter of those asked blamed job dissatisfaction for them not turning up, despite being in good health.

Others felt overworked or claimed internal adequacies made it difficult for them to get much done.

Conflicts with colleagues were also raised.

The survey also suggests 12 million people go to work despite genuinely being unwell.

Research has shown going into work sick reduces productivity and spreads infections around the office, costing the company more than staying home.

Some of those surveyed claimed they could not afford unpaid sick leave or did not want to use up a paid sick day, the BBC reported.

READ MORE: How To Call In Sick When You Can't Possibly Go To Work

People in the UK are entitled to £94.25 ($123.02) per week Statutory Sick Pay if they are too ill to work. It is paid by the employer for up to 28 weeks.

Workers have to be off work sick for four or more days to qualify.

Not everyone is eligible, however. Find out more on the government’s website.

Other survey participants worried they would be judged by their employer or colleagues for not turning up.

Around a fifth, 6.5 million, would reportedly be happy to work from home when under the weather but their employer does not allow it.