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Are you going to work on Monday?

Supplier: Mitrefinch Australia By: Katrina Hall
21 January, 2016

If you checked the calendar, you may have noticed that next Monday (January 25, 2016) is a normal working day that, this year, is rather inconveniently sandwiched between the weekend, and Tuesday’s public holiday for Australia Day. Are you going to chuck a sickie?

So are you going to work on that day? Or perhaps a sickie is on the cards?

To further exacerbate the issue of spiking sickies on Monday, a recent survey has revealed that the day after Australia Day (January 27) is actually the most popular day of the year to take a sickie, with hangovers from Australia Day being blamed for 16 per cent of sickies.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, NSW Business Chamber CEO Mr Stephen Cartwright has given a rather dire prediction that is unsettling many Australian business decision makers.

He has predicted up to 180,000 employees will take a strategic sick day to pad out the weekend, and reap the full benefit of four days off in a row. Further, he warns that this has the potential to cost Australian employers just under AUD 62 million in lost productivity, wages paid and other associated costs of covering the sickies.

Meanwhile, Chamber of Commerce and Industry put the overall cost of the predicted Monday sickie to Queensland’s economy at more than $102 million

But is all hope lost for employers and supervisors?

There are a number of positive steps an employer can take to discourage unwarranted absenteeism, or 'sickies', particularly on high risk days such as next Monday.

Here are a few hints and tips:

  • Train managers and lead by example – conduct a workplace culture audit if necessary
  • Clearly outline your workplace policies and procedures for absenteeism
  • Politely remind staff of the policies ahead of high risk days if appropriate
  • Implement absence management tracking software to alert you of patterns of absence
  • Require a sick note from the doctor for extended sick absences
  • Develop a positive, healthy workplace where employees enjoy coming to work