Australia Day Sickies

Brigitte‘Whaddya mean? I am entitled to 4 weeks paid holidays and 8 days paid sick leave and 3 paid ‘personal days’ and when that runs out, I am entitled to compo!’ – Is this the mentality of your workforce? (this is from an article published by Engleman Etcetera Pty Ltd – the full article is available here.)

With Australia Day coming up this Saturday and a public holiday on Monday, it’s been estimated by the NSW Business Chamber of Commerce that there will be 173,000 ‘sickies’ taken today for holiday goers to extend their long weekend – in that state alone.

It is expected the cost to employers will be more than $36 million, not including the cost of replacement workers and lost productivity.

Really, who wouldn’t enjoy an extra day off, but when does our moral compass pipe up and say ‘we shouldn’t do this’.  It’s like wagging school for adults.

Whilst it might seem like a good idea at the time, you need to consider the impact your ‘sick’ behaviour will have on your reputation at work. Absenteeism ultimately costs your organisation and can also be damaging to people’s perception of you in the workforce.  If you want to take a long week end, stand up and be honest and take an annual leave day at least then your employer and colleagues can plan to cover your workload.

On the flip side of the coin, employers need to ensure employees know procedures around sick days and if you aren’t wanting to create a culture of absenteeism, then get strict about the matter because if it’s not addressed you can be sure that when the next public holiday and long weekend rolls around, you’ll continue to have employees suddenly falling ill.

If you would like to share your thoughts or feedback on how your organisation manages this ongoing problem in your workplace we would be interested in hearing from you.