If you’re going to miss work, you’d better have a good excuse. More importantly, you’d better have a believable one.

A survey conducted by AXA PPP Healthcare asked 1,000 British employers what health-related excuses they were most likely to believe. Here are the results.

Info via AXA PPP Healthcare - Graph via The Independent

Info via AXA PPP Healthcare - Graph via The Independent

As the chart shows, a simple cold isn’t going to cut it, and neither is a painful migraine. Issues such as anxiety and depression were also low on the list. While Hazel Sheffield of The Independent chalks this up to a “lack of awareness” in regard to mental health, it might also have something to do with the arbitrary nature of the problems. It’s hard to prove or disprove depression (or a migraine, for that matter).

Then again, back pain was the second most believable issue, so maybe it really is more of a stigma issue in regard to mental health. In a survey conducted among employees, 77 percent claimed they would be truthfully about physical sickness, but only 39 percent said they would admit to stress, anxiety or depression.

At any rate, all of these excuses are better than “the bottom of my car just fell off,” which I was forced to use last month. Of course, that excuse might have had more traction if not for the fact I work from home.

But regardless of why you need to take off work, just say you have the flu. The numbers don’t lie.ad

(Source: The Independent, H/T: Unilad)