China's workers win at faking sick


A worker assembles small soccer balls at the production line of Ball Star Toys Co., Ltd. in Guangzhou on Sept. 4, 2007 in Guangzhou, China.


Feng Li

Chinese workers are more likely than any others in the world to get out of work by faking sick, a new global survey indicates.

According to the survey commissioned by The Workforce Institute, begging off work by cheating on sick days is relatively common around the world. But Chinese workers have everyone else beat, with 71 percent saying they’ve played hooky from work by pretending to be ill.

France had the most upright workforce, with only 16 percent admitting to lying about being ill to dump work, while India came in second with 62 percent. In 58 percent of workers admitted to doing so, as did 52 percent in the United States, but only 38 percent in Mexico.

Sadly, it doesn’t seem workers use those fake sick days productively, according to a news release from the institute and Kronos, Inc. The group suggests that countries with more paid and flexible leave would have fewer problems with faked illness.

“The top two activities in every region except India and Mexico were staying home and watching TV or staying in bed. In India and Mexico, staying home and watching TV was the top choice, but meeting up with friends and relatives was next on the list,” it said.