Bosses admit to checking up on employees' sick days via social media, asking other workers to call them - and even driving past their homes to check they're not faking it

Emma Haslett
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"Are you sure you can't drag yourself in?"

As the nights draw in and the weather becomes colder, the number of people taking days off is also about to jump. And it turns out managers are a suspicious bunch - after new research found 40 per cent of bosses check up on their staff to make sure they're actually sick.

According to a study by, while 65 per cent of employers ask for a doctor's note and 52 per cent call their ailing employees, others opt for rather less traditional methods.

In fact, 34 per cent said they check up on their workers' social media posts to ensure they're not faking their illness. And it seems to work: 52 per cent of employees phoning in sick said they've been caught out via Facebook, Twitter, etc. Of those, 16 per cent were fired, while just under a third were reprimanded.

But some bosses go even further, with 18 per cent saying they ask one of the worker's colleagues to call them; seven per cent saying they contact a partner or family member to confirm - and a whopping 20 per cent saying they drive past the employee's home to check up on them.

Although to be fair, research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development last month found workers are more likely to drag themselves into work when they're sick than pull a sickie.

In fact, the number of sick days taken by UK workers these days "noticeably lower" than the figure recorded before the recession. So employers can stay off social media for now.....

How bosses are checking up on you

  • 65% ask for a doctor's note
  • 52% phone the employee
  • 34% check up on social media posts
  • 20% drive past the worker's house
  • 18% ask one of the worker's colleagues to call them
  • 7% contact a friend or family member

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