U.K. Workers Calling In Sick to Play Videogames


A new study has revealed that more than half the sick days used in the U.K. are burned up on things other than actual illness, the most common reason being – you guessed it – staying home to play videogames.

A survey of 1920 workers in the U.K. found that only 46 percent of sick days were used as a result of actual illness. Nearly three-quarters of the men in the survey admitted to having faked a sick day “in recent years,” compared to 65 percent of women; while 24 percent of men say they lie about being sick so they can stay home to play games, it’s a far less compelling excuse for women, only five percent of whom fake illness so they can indulge the habit. 14 percent of men also said they have no hesitation about calling in sick on launch days for high-profile games like Modern Warfare 2 or Grand Theft Auto IV.

“The sickie is a time-honored employment tradition, and although employers, including myself, wouldn’t be happy to know that our workers are faking a cold in order to play the latest PS3 or Xbox 360 hit, you’ve got to admire their dedication to their interest,” said Mark Pearson, managing director at, which commissioned the survey. “Whatever the reason people decide not to go into work despite being fully capable, sickies cost the U.K. economy a shedload of money. Perhaps the government could look to recoup lost revenue from games developers and fashion outlets?”

The top five reasons for faking a sick day, according to the survey:

  1. To play videogames – 24%
  2. To attend an appointment – 16%
  3. To visit friends and family – 13%
  4. To do DIY around the house – 10%
  5. To catch up on sleep – 7%

The study said an estimated $11.5 billion is lost through people who call in sick unnecessarily, $1.6 billion of which is caused by videogaming alone.

Source: HR News


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