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Go home - it's National Sickie Day

Last one out, turn the lights off...

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If your office is looking a little empty this morning it could be because today is the most popular day of the year to take a sickie.

The survey of 4,000 people from Sky Travel found almost half those questioned said they had taken a sickie to recover from a hangover, to sleep or to shop. British workers take an average of nine sick days a year, compared with an average of 22 days official holiday. Women say they can get away with twice as many sick days as their male colleagues.

Cary Cooper, a pyschology professor who helped with the research, said: "Early February is a very popular time for taking a 'sickie', the first bank holiday still seems a long way off, the days are gloomy, and many people are still feeling the post-Christmas blues."

One in 10 people have texted the boss to tell them they're not coming in, while 17 per cent get someone else to call in for them.

Shirkers from Liverpool are keenest on duvet days - taking 13 sick days a year, compared to just three days taken by Londoners.

But if you are skulking home, be careful - five per cent of people have been caught while taking a sneaky sickie. ®

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