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Embargoed until June 12, 2008

A NATION OF HY-PET-CHONDRIACS

~ UK bosses wising-up to (Slocombe Syndrome)~

· 400,000 British workers suffering from ŒSlocombe Syndrome¹

· A quarter of UK bosses know their employees are using pets to skip work

· One in two workers aware of Œpoorly pet¹ scams in their office

New research released today from MORE TH>N shows an increasing number of Brits are inventing ill and dying animal stories in an attempt to pull sickies and get out of work.

According to the statistics, almost a quarter (23%) of UK bosses are aware of pets being used by workers for an unauthorised day under the duvet - and are bracing themselves for an increase in illegitimate sick days over the summer as a new epidemic, ŒSlocombe syndrome¹, kicks in.

The syndrome ­ named after Mrs Slocombe from hit 1970s comedy Are You Being Served? who famously repeatedly used her sick pussycat as an excuse to get out of work ­ has been identified by bosses throughout the UK. 400,000 British workers are suffering from the syndrome, having used a pet as an excuse for a free day off. One in two workers (48%) admit to being aware of Œpoorly pet¹ scams in their workplace.

The statistics also reveal that two thirds of bosses (59%) say they are extremely suspicious of pet-related excuses ­ workers bunking off due to hangovers is the only thing that riles them more. Two thirds (63 per cent) of UK bosses also report that their staff are more likely to pull unauthorised sickies over the summer.

Mel Everest, Head of Pet Insurance for MORE TH>N comments "People really should think twice before making the sick pet call. For those people who actually own a pet, there will come a time when they really do need to take time off to care for them, which is why it¹s so important to have the right insurance in place. For legitimate pet illnesses, MORE TH>N Pet Insurance is designed to make the whole process less stressful and give owners peace of mind. We even give customers access to qualified vet nurses day or night who
can tell them if they need to take their pet to the vet, or take a day off to look after them, which is good news for UK bosses.²

The findings also reveal that Londoners are the most likely to make up a sick pet excuse to take a day off work, with Cardiff, Norwich and Liverpool also faring badly. Geordies are the most unlikely workers in the UK to use a pet to pull a sickie.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors:

Research was carried out by Fly Research. 1,000 UK workers and bosses were
surveyed between Friday 30th May and Sunday 1st June.

About MORE TH>N:

MORE TH>N is the direct financial services arm of RSA. It offers motor, home, pet, life and travel insurance by phone and via the internet. It also offers van, shop, office, business car, hotels, property, club and contractor insurance direct to small businesses.

In December 2006 MORE TH>N, together with its parent company RSA, became the first insurer in the UK to be carbon neutral. The company has cut its carbon footprint by over half since 2000 and has offset the remainder by purchasing
voluntary carbon reductions.

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