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This UK Company Is Offering Staff ‘Hangover Days’

It’s the business model that could never work in Australia

What you need to know
  • Feeling a bit dusty today?
  • Can't be bothered going into work?
  • Willing to move to the UK to work at a marketing agency?
  • Why not?
  • Yeah, fair enough, it's a big move.
  • Well, you should probably get to work then.

Throwing a sickie when you’re actually hungover is an Australian tradition. The trick is to wake up early – ideally at around 6am – put on a croaky voice and call your boss to say: “I really want to come in to work today, but I don’t want to get everyone else sick (cough).”

You after your 18th.

Once the phone call is done, it’s time to drink some Gatorade, go back to sleep and dream about the Oscar nomination that you deserve for that outstanding performance.

"Thank you! I'd like to thank Jack Daniels and Tequila."

But, if a new trend called ‘hangover days’ takes off, we might not have to perform this charade anymore. A digital marketing agency in the UK called Audit Lab has implemented a hangover policy that allows employees to work from home when they wake up dusty. For its employees, it means they no longer have to lie to their boss, they can just honestly say they had a big one the night before and won’t be coming in to work.

Speaking to BBC 5 Live’s Wake Up To Money, a PR manager for the company, 19-year-old Ellie, said: “It is about honesty, it’s about people being able to not lie to their managers.”

Which is completely relatable. I had a big one last night, and I’m writing this article from home after lying to my boss about having gonorrhea. I’ve found that pretending to have a venereal disease helps to discourage any follow up questions from an employee.

The company is Based in Bolton, in the North West of England, so part of motivation behind the policy is to attract talent from Manchester.

“We wanted to offer something to younger millennials who typically go out mid-week and do the pub quiz,” Claire Crompton, the company’s co-founder and director told the BBC. “My team book a hangover day in advance, if they know they are going out. They just work in their pajamas, sat at home on the couch.”

According to Ellie, employees don’t take the piss (pun intended) with the policy, and only take hangover days when required. “Everyone is pretty much the same, they take them as and when they need them, no one really takes the mick or takes too many.”

That might be the case, but it is hard to imagine a similar policy working in Australia. If hangover days became popular here, the entire economy would grind to a halt, at least until the alcohol industry collapsed, at which point people would return to work once they’d sobered up.

An artist's recreation of what Australians would look like with a hangover policy.

It's unlikely that Australian businesses are going to adopt a similar policy any time soon, so you’ll still have to practice your croaky voice throughout the upcoming silly season.