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More than half of employers say their staff chuck sickies

CultureNovember 17, 2014

More than half of employers say their staff chuck sickies (Last Updated On: November 17, 2014)

A new study by Direct Health Solutions has found that 55% of Australian employers believe that their employees take sickies. “Chucking a sickie” is one of the main drivers for employers to seek external help to manage their staff. Currently employees take up to 10 sickies a year, at a cost to Australian employers of over $33 billion dollars.

Direct Health Solutions chief executive, Paul Dondon, has blamed an ‘entitlement culture’ for the highest prevalence of sickies since 2010. He says the 10 sick days entitled to a staff member each year drive staff to pull sickies instead of taking annual leave days. Mr Dondon claimed ‘You are entitled to take [sick leave] if you are legitimately sick. But a lot of people aren’t legitimately sick’. There are many ways to which employers can limit their staff from pulling sickies, an example is to implement employee handbooks with precise sick leave procedures. This can deter staff from taking sick days when they are simply fit to come to work.

Some key procedures you could include in your handbook:

  • Employees must notify their employer that they will be sick via telephone at the earliest possible opportunity and no later than their official start time. Communicating via text message, emails or voice mail is not an acceptable form of communicating;
  • Staff much notify their manager or line director personally of their sickness. Telling other colleagues is not a valid form of communication;
  • Each day of absence needs to be covered by a doctor’s medical certificate;
  • All leave should be recorded, this way employers can track patterns or repeat offenders;
  • A return to work interview with the sick staff member is essential to ensure that they are well enough to return to work and so that you can gauge how sick the employee was.

Many small to medium businesses in Australia do not have enough control and monitoring in place to conquer the high prevalence of sickies. Under the Fair Work Act 2009, all employers can require evidence of their employee’s medical condition. If you believe that you have a problem with your staff “chucking sickies” call Employsure today on 1300 651 415 or fill in the form below.

Employsure can help your business implement numerous way to prevent employees from chucking sickies, especially coming into the festive season. Included in your membership is access to hronline, which is an imperative tool to keep records of all employees leave and absenteeism. Employsure is your answer to limit sickies in your workplace.

If you would like to learn more ways to monitor your staff sickies we currently have seminars with an absenteeism focus. Click here to find a seminar near you.

*Information sourced via The Australian Financial Review.  

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