Sick pets and summer flu: Top truancy excuses employees are using to watch the Euros

  • Potential excuses range from fake funerals to phantom car troubles
  • One in twenty employees considered faking it to catch England vs Wales
  • Only 12% of firms have made provisions for staff to watch games during Euro 2016


With Euro 2016 well and truly underway, our latest research has found the top ten excuses truant employees will be using to skip work and watch the games.

Failing household appliances, fake funerals and poorly pets are just some of the excuses the study suggests bosses could be hearing ahead of kick-off. Our research also revealed that as many as one in twenty UK workers considered pulling a sickie to watch Thursday’s match.

When it comes to excuses, it’s little surprise that feigning illness was the most popular, with faux food poisoning and sudden bouts of summer flu claiming the top two spots.

And for some, honesty is the best policy with ‘staying home and watching the football’ coming in at number three on the list of excuses.

Here’s the rundown of the top ten excuses employers can expect to hear for the rest of the tournament:

  1. I’ve got food poisoning
  2. I’ve got flu
  3. I want to stay home and watch the football
  4. My dog is sick
  5. I’ve got a doctor’s/dentist appointment
  6. My washing machine flooded the house
  7. I’ve had an allergic reaction
  8. I need to go to a distant relative’s funeral
  9. My car broke down
  10. My child is sick

Despite the risk of employees sloping off to watch the football, the research also revealed that only 12% of employers have made provisions for staff to watch games that air during work hours – something which may have dire results when it comes to productivity.

And with almost a 40% drop in traffic seen on our recruiter site during the England vs Wales game, and no visible lift in visits for the rest of the day, it seems staff might be taking matters into their own hands to catch up on the action – whether it’s with their boss’ permission or not.


Lynn Cahillane, Communications Manager at, said:

“Euro 2016 is an exciting event for many football fans, however, with some of the group games scheduled to take place during work hours, it could become problematic for staff and employers alike.

To avoid any football-related absenteeism from now until 10 July, we encourage employers to be flexible and consider showing keys games on screens in the office or allow staff to watch on their own devices.  Employees keen to enjoy the games at work should come to an agreement with their line manager beforehand.”


Image Credit

Euro 2016 Stade de France –


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