Employees not turning up to work as a result of last night’s (March 17th’s) St Patrick’s Day celebrations will cost UK firms £27 million, it has been suggested.

According to research conducted by Abbey, one in five British workers had planned to party in honour of the patron saint’s day, with more than 300,000 anticipating they would be too hung over to work today.

Paula Ickinger of Abbey Business Banking warned: "Taking time off to recover could prove detrimental to both yourself and your company. Small businesses depend greatly on their staff and so even small amounts of time lost can really impact on their profitability."

The study also found that 13 per cent of staff aged 18 to 24 admitted to having taken "one or two" full days off in the last year as a result of hangovers.

Research released last week by Boots indicated that British employees lack sufficient energy to complete a full day’s work, with businesses losing an average of 151 minutes per member of staff each day as a result.