Post Australia Day ‘Sickies’ predicted to cost Aussie economy over $50 million!

One sleep left until one of Australia’s favourite public holidays, Australia Day!

We can already hear the sound of a friend cracking a tinnie and can smell the snag on the barbie, but with a number of employees bound to be hitting the turps tomorrow, and with Australia Day falling on a Thursday, we all know there’s a bloody good chance that some workers will call in sick *cough* on Friday and enjoy a long weekend.

A recent study predicted that this Friday, sick leave will rise from an average of 3.5 percent of workers to 5 percent, costing the Australian economy over $50 million!

Tips and tricks to stop your workers from chucking a sickie:

A full-time or part-time employee can take paid personal or carer’s leave where they are either:

  1. Not fit for work because of a personal illness, or personal injury, affecting themselves; or
  2. Required to provide care or support to a member of their immediate family, or a member of their household, because of a personal illness, injury or emergency affecting that person.

Anyone who wants to take paid personal or carer’s leave must advise you of the period, or expected period, of the leave as soon as practicable. This may be as simple as a phone call, SMS (if your policy allows) or email informing you that they will not be attending work.

While some workers may take the opportunity to score themselves a long weekend, you have the right to request medical evidence that the employee was absent for a legitimate reason – and are not just telling you a furphy! If you have any doubts over any medical certificates provided, you can seek further clarification from the doctor who signed it or even request that the employee provide a statutory declaration confirming their reason for their absence.

HOT TIP: If you are worried about workers exploiting the system and taking a sick day this Friday, you may want to consider (if feasible for the business) suggesting that your staff members take a paid annual leave day instead if they really want the day off.

For all those businesses still opened tomorrow (we’ll have a cold one for you!) remember that most employees (if Award covered) will be entitled to public holiday rates for the hours worked, and for those who aren’t working tomorrow, have a cracker of a day!

For more information on the recommendations and what this means for you, clients should contact the HR Assured team. If you’d like more information about the benefits of becoming an HR Assured client contact us today for an informal chat.