Irish businesses are accusing workers of feigning illness at a cost of hundreds, if not millions, of euro per year.
According to ISME, absenteeism is costing Irish businesses €540m per year.
They claim that 5.4 million man-days per year are lost due to employees' non-attendance at work and that 75% of all absenteeism is due to feigned illness or malingering.
The organisation surveyed 400 companies, employing 12,000, during October and November and discovered that, on average, employees are absent for an additional 6 days annually on top of holidays and other authorised absences.
The highest level of absence was recorded in the Dublin region, with Connacht recording the lowest.
Sectorally, the metals/engineering sector recorded the highest average days lost per employee, with 10 days, in comparison to 3 days in food and food processing, which recorded the lowest.
ISME say that it has now become completely unrealistic for a business to expect a full staff on a Monday morning.