The Dog Ate my Car Keys!

Dog Eating Homework

A recent excuse quoted by an employee as to their reason for being unable to attend work was that their ‘dog ate their car keys’. This appears to be the adult equivalent to the ‘dog ate my homework’ and equally as implausible. As children I am sure we all had a phantom stomach ache to get us out of a test or not doing our homework, as adults we are still using similar excuses to avoid something that we do not want to do. As children our actions meant that our parents had to take a day off work to care for us, as adults our actions now affect our colleagues, boss, client, company performance and bottom line.

Whilst this is highly improbable and an extreme excuse for a ‘sickie’, many employers do face significant absence problems with varying reasons provided for absence by their employees.

According to an annual survey conducted by CBI/AXA the cost to the UK economy of sickness absence in 2007 was £13.2bn, with the average employee taking 6.7 days off sick. This figure is expected to increase for 2008, with over 12% of the absence thought to be non genuine or ‘sickies’ as they are more commonly known.

So what are the causes of absence and what can you as an employer do to reduce the effects? At ABHR we have developed a number of top tips to help you identify the causes of absence and manage the effects on your organisation.


If you are interested in learning more about Absence Management, or any element of employment then please call ABHR on 0115 9743519 for your free no-obligation consultation or visit our website for further details.