Workers take the day off as Britain freezes – ‘National Sickie Day’

Roads normally choc-a-bloc were eerily quiet yesterday as it seemed recession-hit Britain’s answer to a big freeze was to take the day off.

The weather combined with lingering New Year hangovers fuelled speculation that huge numbers called in sick.

Stephen Alambritis, of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “It’s bleak and freezing, and after the celebrations for New Year’s Eve run into New Year’s Day, we believe there will be record absences from work.

“We estimate the cost of no-show Friday could be as much as £250million.

“Because of the recession, orders are down so workplaces aren’t as busy.

“This may lead someone to ring up sick because they think they’re not letting their colleagues down as much as they would be during a busy period.”

But he told BBC Radio Five Live that an estimated 500,000 small firms will be shut until Monday anyway.

Those returning to work next week will still face hazardous conditions.

The Met Office’s Sarah Holland said: “The freezing weather is going to make it frosty in the mornings, which could mean icy patches on roads. People need to take extra care driving on Monday.”

She continued: “Saturday night will be very cold, with temperatures falling to – 9C in many places, including a whole area from Gloucester up across the Midlands and towards the North West.

“For many parts of Britain it will be the coldest night of this spell so far.”

The lowest UK temperature recorded since Christmas was – 12C on December 31 at Kinloss, Moray.

Next week it will be the turn of southern England, rather than Scotland, to have severe frosts, experts say.

The cold spell sweeping Britain is still nowhere near breaking records. The lowest temperature measured in the UK was – 27.2C on December 30, 1995 in the village of Altnaharra, Sutherland.

That equalled the record, as the same temperature was measured in 1895 and again in 1982, both in eastern Scotland.


Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in the Employee Assistance ProgramStress ManagementStaff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: