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Making excuses for an extra day off

Date 3 Oct 2007

More than a quarter of workers take an unscheduled extra day off to get back into the swing of things after a holiday. Only a third tell the truth about their added-on day, with most blaming a fake illness, car trouble or a missed flight, a survey from found.

Just 2% said they felt guilty about lying or inconveniencing their employer. 27% of those surveyed took an extra day, with 43% of them making the excuse that they - or someone they had to look after - were ill. Food poisoning, flu or sunstroke were among the most common made-up reasons for not going back to work as planned. 30% of employees in southern England admitted to taking an extra day, but only 22% of Scots owned up to it.

The Civil Service suffers the most post-holiday absenteeism, with 40% of civil servants sneaking in an extra day. Professionals in the retail sector were the next worst culprits at 36%. Teachers set a better example, with only 22% taking a buffer day.

Kayte Williams, holidays manager at, said: "For many people, their holiday is so hotly anticipated that when it's over, it is a massive anti-climax. For others, a jam-packed break means they are more exhausted on their return than when they left. Our advice is to perhaps take shorter holidays, more often if you can. That way the pain of returning to work, and the need for a buffer day, should be lessened - in theory at least. Or just be honest with yourself and book off an extra couple of days. Your employer will thank you."

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