Wish it was still the weekend?
September 5, 2011

When was the last time you skipped work for a feigned stomach ache or the flu and basked in a day off just hanging out with friends instead? If you are Indian or Chinese, the likelihood of that is much more than if you are French or Mexican.

According to the Kronos Global Absence survey,  countries where there is more paid leave, employees were much less likely to cry off work with an invented illness than those from countries with fewer holiday allowances. According to the results, nearly three-quarters, or 71 percent, of respondents in China said they had snuggled a day off on the false pretext of being ill, followed by India with 62 percent. But only 16 percent of workers in France said they had done so. In Mexico, 38 percent had. In between were workers in the United States and Canada, where just over half had. Australia was higher at 58 percent, and Britain lower with 43 percent.

The Workforce Institute which commissioned the survey, noted that France had one of the maximum number of paid holidays globally – with annual holiday allowance minimums coming in at 30 days per year. “Contrast this with India and China, two of the three countries with the lowest holiday allowance minimums, with India only requiring their employees to take 12 days of annual holiday allowance, and China requiring 10,” Joyce Maroney, the director of the Workforce Institute said.

Far more consistent were the reasons given for staging a personal sick day, with feeling stressed and needing a day off the top response by an overwhelming margin. Sick children and insufficient sick leave were also cited by many.

And just what do workers do with this coveted time off? In most of the eight regions surveyed, the top responses were staying home and watching television, and staying in bed.

In India and Mexico, however, folks seemingly prefer socializing to sleep. While watching the tube was a top choice, meeting up with friends or relatives trumped more time in bed.

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