Christmas party sickies

Published:  15 December, 2009

NORWICH: UK businesses facing a £216m bill For Christmas party calamities said Insurance provider Aviva.

Overindulgence and accidents will see over two million workers take "sickies" it said in a report.

The Aviva 'Morning After...' report said 2.31 million UK workers have called in sick after drinking too much or having an accident at a work Christmas party resulting in £216 million lost to the British economy based on CBI calculations of absence costs.

Men are over twice as likely as women (88% more likely) to call in sick after the office party, and directors and managers are significantly more likely (67% more likely) to call in sick than the rest of the workforce.

Despite the recession, almost two thirds (61%) of UK businesses planning a party and workers' festive spirits have not been dampened - over a quarter (26%) say the stresses of 2009 mean people are likely to get more drunk and rowdy than usual.

Employees will drink on average 7.3 units of alcohol at their Christmas party; men plan to drink an average of 9.6 units nearly three times the recommended limit for men of 3-4 units per day. Women say they are likely to drink an average of 5.6 units - well over twice the recommended daily limit of 2-3 units.

And alcohol-related accidents at Christmas parties are rife, with nearly a third (31%) resulting in hospital treatment. The most common office party mishaps are falling over dancing, slipping on spilt drinks, falling off furniture, passing out, and walking into a wall.

Merry Christmas.

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