Chucking a sickie has been called a great Australian tradition. This year it was estimated that up 180,000 people took a Monday sickie ahead of the Australia Day public holiday on Tuesday, giving themselves an extra-long weekend.
After the 1983 America’s Cup win, even our then Prime Minister Bob Hawke encouraged people to take a sickie to get over the hangover when he said exclaimed “any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum.”
However the sickie can also be a contentious issue. With sick days estimated to cost the Australian economy $30 billion a year in lost productivity, some would say that taking a sickie is irresponsible and detrimental to the economy.
Plus there’s always the risk of being caught – particularly when people post healthy looking photos on social media, or happy snaps of their long weekend getaway, when they should have been at work.
On the flip side, others see the benefit of people taking a ‘mental health day’ when they need it. And companies can encourage loyalty and boost productivity when their employees have more flexibility and control over the time they take off and when.
What we can all agree on is that hard working, Australian employees do need to take a break from time to time – and if that can be done in an organised way, it can only be of benefit to the workplace and the worker.
This is why ideas like the Big Day Off are great for everyone involved – the lucky staff members that score an extra paid day off work (one that it is even sanctioned by the powers that be, i.e. the boss); the company in encouraging loyalty and boosting flexibility; and of course the cause, with businesses and employees working together to support people with spinal cord injury, a life-long disability that affects over 15,000 Australians.
So we have a better idea for you than chucking a sickie or two in 2016 – how about nominating your boss to register to participate in the Big Day Off today and you won’t have to!