Mental Health Most Common Reason For Fake Being Sick

In a survey of 1,000 office-based employees in the U.S., the U.K., Singapore, and the UAE, 35.8% admitted to lying about taking a sick day, with the most common reason being because of stress (32.1%).

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and isolation efforts in March, people across the world have been reporting increasing pressure on mental health. These confessions raise questions around the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace.

Fake Being Sick

The data has been revealed in a recent report, Employee Perceptions of Mental and Physical Health in the Workplace, published by international health benefits provider, Aetna International. The report brings to light the views of employees in regards to discussing health issues at work and the impact a mental health diagnosis can play in reducing the stigma around it.

mental health day leave

Your mental well being is as important as your physical health.

Sick Days

Employees were asked if they had ever lied to their employer about their reasons for taking day off. While “wanting a day off” was the second most frequented reason for lying, the most common reasons overall related to mental and emotional well-being:

  • 1% of employees lied to their employers because they were feeling stressed
  • 6% of employees lied because they were feeling down
  • 3% of employees lied because they weren’t feeling themselves
  • 6% of workers lied because they didn’t think their boss would understand

To make things worse, results also revealed that employees are twice more likely to take time off for a physical health conundrum than a mental health problem.

It is clear that there is still a high degree of stigma around mental wellbeing in the workplace. While this could be culture, there’s clearly more that needs to be done to help employees navigate mental health at work.


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Anna Verasai
Anna Verasai
Anna Versai is a Staff Writer at The HR Digest; she covers topics related to Recruitment, Workplace Culture, Interview Tips, Employee Benefits, and HR Leadership. She also writes for Technowize, providing her views on the Upcoming Technology, Product Reviews, and the latest apps and softwares.

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