The number of workers calling in 'ill' is expected to peak today on what has been dubbed National Sickie Day.
The first Monday in February is thought to be the worst day for people pulling 'sickies' with up to 350,000 employees expected to ring in and make their excuses.
Experts fear that the absence of so many workers could cost the industry more than £30 million.
However, a study indicates that bosses are becoming too soft on their staff, accepting emails or texts to say they are ‘ill’ rather than the traditional phone call.
More than a quarter of British companies trust workers who claim illness without speaking to them directly, making it easier for fakers to lie, according to research by Employment Law Advisory Services.
Peter Mooney, a spokesman for the firm, said: "The traditional phone call was always a way for bosses to decipher whether staff members were bluffing or genuinely ill.
“So the system will be open to more abuse than ever. The cost to the economy could soar. That is the last thing we need as we are slowly crawling out of the deepest recession for generations.”
Half the 1,500 company managers polled in the survey were not convinced by the excuses given for a day off.
Questionable excuses ranged from a man who claimed that the road outside his house was too busy to cross to another worker who said he could not make it in because his mother-in-law was supposed to die at the weekend but had not. Source