Quarter of Londoners to skive during Olympics

As many as one in four Londoners could abstain from work in order to watch some of the Olympic action, a new poll claims.

In a study of 2,000, retailers Littlewoods.com found 1.2 million Londoners (24 per cent) will lie about their health in order to bunk off for the Games.

However, the desire to ‘pull a sickie’ isn’t limited to the people of the host city. A further 4.8 million Brits nationwide are also expected to tell a white lie just to get out of the office, telegraph.co.uk reports. The most popular Olympic game for men to catch – perhaps not surprisingly – will be the women’s beach volleyball tournament; where an estimated 250,000 say they’ll be avidly watching.

Bosses will no doubt also be fuming if one in five of their staff took between four – five days’ sick for the spectacle – another prediction of the poll.

The minister for sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson, stated in response to the poll that it’s all well and good to support Team GB – but not at the expense of work. As well as watching the Games from the comfort of a number of event spaces in and around the capital, many businesses are likely to be accommodating within the workplace; mitigating the absence issue.

“Some employers, particularly in the capital, are being flexible during the Games, allowing staff to work from home or at different times to normal so that they can enjoy the sport, while at the same time helping to keep London moving,” he revealed, by way of endorsement.

Catching Tom Daley’s Olympic performance is the biggest reason Britons will pull a sickie during the Games – followed by cyclist Chris Hoy’s competitions, swimmer Rebecca Adlington and triathlon athlete Jessica Ennis, says standard.co.uk.