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Bosses beware as today is favourite for ringing in sick

Blue Monday has been stripped of its reputation as the worst day for sick leave with skiving workers now more likely to fake illness today, the second Tuesday in January.

In recent years the third Monday of the new year saw thousands of people cry off work but bosses were on the lookout for dodgy excuses today.

Dublin-based employment law firm Peninsula Ireland said its research showed almost a third of workers are likely to phone in sick.

Alan Price, the consultancy's managing director, said its clients checked records and reported a higher rate of absence on the second Tuesday of the year than any other day.

"The thought of summer holidays seems so far away and we have just had Christmas, so workers face months of work without a break," he said. "For many this is an enticement to take a skiving day off work."