Australia Day ‘sickies’: Where do you stand as an employer?

With Australia Day just around the corner some employees may look to take an extra day off and make the most of a four day weekend. This can cause many problems for employers and can be a frustrating task to defeat.

Although the ‘sickie’ can be frustrating for any business, there are specific protections in place allowing employees to exercise their workplace right to take personal leave. Because of this, it is important to know where you stand when dealing with Australia Day sickies.

When can an employee take personal leave?

Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Act) permanent employees are entitled to paid personal leave where they are not fit for work because of illness or personal injury.

Although employees can claim illness in the hope of enjoying an extra-long weekend, you are within your rights to request medical evidence to support their claim. Unfortunately for your employee this will mean a potentially long wait at a doctor’s office to get a certificate!

In addition, the Act also requires an employee to give notice to the employer as soon as possible as well as information regarding the length of leave they require. If your employee fails to do either of the above they will not be entitled to paid personal leave.

Although employers have the right to request all of the above, it is not advised to take adverse action against an employee for genuinely exercising a workplace right to be absent from the workplace due to illness.

Preparing for Australia Day ‘sickies’ this long weekend

Take steps to ensure that your employees know what their obligations are, including complying with company policies when it comes to calling in sick.

A quick reminder of workplace policies leading up to Australia Day will reinforce the need to provide documentation and will likely deter employees from pulling the infamous ‘sickie’.

HR Assured clients can find leave policies on their HRA Cloud Account or contact the Telephone Advisory Service for more information. If you are interested in becoming a HR Assured client contact us today for an informal chat.