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Aviva: Businesses set to lose millions this Christmas as workers call in 'sick' Go compare with our comparison table

Aviva: Businesses set to lose millions this Christmas as workers call in 'sick'

15 December 2009 / by Andy Davies

Businesses could lose hundreds of millions over the festive season, Aviva has said, as two million workers have already called in 'sick' following workplace Christmas parties.

In a new report, insurance provider Aviva has revealed that around 2.3million workers have missed worked after drinking too much or having an accident at work Christmas party, which based on the Confederation of British Industry's calculations of absence costs, has cost the economy £216million.

It appears men 88 per cent more likely than women to call in sick, while directors and managers 67 per cent more likely to take the day off than the rest of the workforce.

Despite the recession, nearly two thirds of businesses are still planning on holding a party as workers festive spirits have not been dampened.

However, while it appears many employees will take the day off work, 33 per cent of workers are honest about the reason for their absence.

Commenting, Doug Wright, principal clinical consultant at Aviva UK Health, said: "After what has been a stressful year for many, it is understandable people want to let their hair down this Christmas.

"However, with 15 per cent of people claiming to have witnessed or experienced accidents at the office parties, it pays to stay sober enough that you're not risking injury. Don't drink on an empty stomach and try alternating alcohol with soft drinks to avoid an unwanted trip to A&E during the festive period."

Urging employees who are tempted to call in sick to book a day off to recover, Dr Wright warned that people face "more than a hangover" if found out.

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