Pulling a Swiftie
4 Minute Read
4 Minute Read

Women with a towel over her head being interviewed

I asked someone who had pulled a sickie to go and watch Taylor Swift – if they got caught and fired, would it be worth it?

Absolutely. Came the response, without hesitation. Resolute.

What a world we live in…without trying to sound too much like my grandmother. People are seriously happy to risk losing their jobs to go and see Taylor Swift live. Watching the hoards descend on Liverpool in June, standing for hours in the rain, and parents swapping tips on how to entertain flagging tweens for the eternity before their idol enters the stage, seriously qualifies as cult level following.

Getting Legal

Down to the legal issues then, can you be fired for pulling a swiftie- i.e calling in sick to go watch Taylor Swift? Yes.

An employee lying to an employer, about being ill, to be able to attend a music concert could be classed as gross misconduct. It is an offense that relates to honesty and therefore arguably goes to the heart of the relationship. It shows a disregard for everyone else who has been told no and turned up to work anyway, the additional load placed on colleagues and the disruption to a business where that role can’t be covered for a day. It is also potentially an abuse of the sick pay scheme if your business pays company sick pay.


A process however needs to be followed, invitation to a disciplinary hearing, ensure the employee is clear on the allegations and why the matter is serious and how it has affected the business, a fair and impartial disciplinary hearing with the right to be accompanied, and then make the decision. Where a disciplinary sanction is imposed, there must be a right of appeal. Not forgetting, the need for a compliant letter of invitation, outcome, and appeal.

Is it worth it? This writer would say no, particularly at a time where the strength of the candidate driven job market may be starting to swing in the other direction and the cost of living remaining high.


But I want to, it’s not fair! Bleated my friend.

Did your mother never tell you that you can’t always get what you want in life? That life isn’t fair? Sometimes the answer is ‘no’ and as adults we either have to accept that or accept the consequences of defiant behaviour, particularly where we have entered into a legally binding relationship with an employer for employment.

There are consequences in life and losing your job could be one of them if you pull a Swiftie and you are caught.

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