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For those who woke up feeling like going to work would be a bad idea, you’re not alone. This is the day that many people call off, pull a sickie, call in sick or play hooky because they simply don’t want the weekend to end and they don’t want to go to work – even if they aren’t actually sick! 

History of National Sickie Day

As the dark winter blahs continue for what seems like endless days throughout the season, people tend to get sick and tired of going to work. In fact, the first Monday of February is statistically the day that more workers in the UK will call in sick than any other day, which is why it has been established as National Sickie Day!

Although having a cold or the flu are the most common excuses used for begging off of work on this day, almost half of the people who call out on this day may not actually be ill. Instead, a large percentage of the people who call off are actually just feeling tired, or they even just don’t feel like going to work.

Since physical illness is a much more socially acceptable reason for taking the day off of work, many people use this as a reason instead of telling their boss that they are struggling with mental health issues. But taking a mental health day is certainly an acceptable reason to call off from work.

Plus, many people find that taking one day of sick leave for stress or mental health and wellness can save a great deal of sick time that might be taken later in the year, if those pressures build up into something worse. So don’t be afraid to call off work every now and then. Especially on National Sickie Day!

How to Celebrate National Sickie Day

In honor and celebration of National Sickie Day, consider implementing some of these fun and interesting ideas for enjoying the day:

Pull a Sickie

Of course, the first thing to do on National Sickie Day is to skip out of work. Get that email ready ahead of time, even the night before, to say that it’s impossible for you to appear at work on the day. Whether making up a silly excuse like having the plague, or making it sound a bit more believable like having the sniffles, this is one of the best days of the year to pull a sickie!

Learn How to Call in Sick

While lying to the boss isn’t going to be a great idea, there are some things that can be learned with calling in for a mental health or other type of day. Here are some tips from the pros about how to call in sick in a professional manner:

  • Notify Work as Early as Possible

    If you start getting a fever the night before, send the email so they get it in their inbox as soon as possible. Or if a call is required, certainly make the call as much before normal work start-time as possible. The earlier the call is made, the more the boss will appreciate it – and be able to find a replacement as needed.

  • Keep it Brief

    In reality, the boss really shouldn’t make someone tell them too much about why they are calling in sick. Try to keep it down to one or two sentences to tell them that it’s impossible to make it into work today. But do try to let them know when you’ll be back.

  • Show Respect

    Try to end the call on an upbeat note and be sure to thank the boss for being so understanding. Offer to make up for as much missed work as possible on the next day in.

Binge Watch Some Favorite Films

Pulling a sickie might be all about just staying home, vegging out, relaxing on the sofa and binge watching some favorite shows or movies. Grab those DVDs or cue up Netflix because National Sickie Day is the perfect time to enjoy some movies that are an ideal antidote when skipping out of work (or school) and having some fun.

Get started with some of these movie titles:

  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986). This classic movie starring Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck and Jennifer Grey, tells the story of Ferris who gets his friend, Cameron, to pull a sickie and take a skip day on a beautiful spring day in the senior year of high school. Antics, hijinks and tons of laughs ensue!
  • The Princess Bride (1987). When a young boy has to stay home from school because he is ill, his grandfather stays with him and reads him a story of adventure, fighting, and love. Cary Elwes and Robin Wright play lead roles supported by André the Giant, Wallace Shawn and Billy Crystal.
  • The Royal Tenenbaums (2001). Filled with an all star comedy cast including Ben Stiller and Bill Murray, this movie features the story of a man named Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) who makes up the biggest lie about being sick – he tells his ex-wife he has cancer to try to stop her from getting remarried.
  • E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982). This science fiction Steven Spielberg film reveals the unique story of a boy who fakes being sick so he can stay home from school to spend more time with his alien friend. There certainly must be worse reasons to pull a sickie!

Brush Up On Those Company Sick Policies

Many employees aren’t always quite sure exactly what paid time off benefits they are able to get when they call in sick from work. Since it falls at the beginning of the year, National Sickie Day would be a great time to check in with the human resources department at work about this topic. Take some time to verify just how many sick days and other paid time off days are available throughout the year, so none get missed and all of that deserved time gets taken, whether as a sickie or some other type of paid time off! 

National Sickie Day FAQs

What does sickie mean?

When someone takes a sick day off of work, or calls in sick, it can be referred to (especially in British English) as pulling a sickie. [1]

How many times can you call in sick?

Every employer has its own rules on how many times you can call in sick before you must provide a doctor’s note.[2]

Can you get sacked for pulling a sickie?

Yes, as calling in sick when you’re not constitutes lying to your employer, you could possibly get fired for this. [3]

Can you call in sick to jury duty?

Those who are sick for jury duty can postpone their service or request an excuse. [4]

How to pull a sickie from work?

Pull off the perfect sickie by choosing a believable story, filling in important details, and faking a cough or sick voice!

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