Olympic sick note culture threatens to 'engulf UK businesses', according to Badenoch & Clark

A sick note culture could be set to “engulf UK businesses” during the Olympics, according to a study from recruitment consultancy, Badenoch & Clark.

Its report found almost a fifth of UK workers (18.5%) think that they or their colleagues will be tempted to call in sick during the London 2012 Games. Younger employees are more likely to pull a 'sickie', with over a quarter (26.3%) of workers aged 18-24 tempted to call in ill.

Londoners are also the most likely to pull a 'sickie' compared to other areas of the country - with over a quarter (26.04%) saying that they or their colleagues are likely to call in sick or miss work during the London 2012 Games.

Last year (July 2011) uncertainty over Olympic leave policies led one in six (15.7%) people to admit that they would consider taking a 'sickie' to watch the London 2012 Games.

Nicola Linkleter, MD at Badenoch & Clark said: "With only four days to go until the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, organisations must quickly find ways of communicating leave policies to employees to avoid confusion and the possibility of mass absences that could severely impact the wider business.

"To discourage employees against pulling a 'sickie', employers might consider embedding the London 2012 Games into the workplace. Showing events on big screens in breakout areas; allowing workers to take breaks to coincide with coverage and organising socials around major events could all help to increase employee engagement during the six week period."