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Are you going to work on Friday?

Published: January 24, 2017

If you checked the calendar a few weeks ago, you might have already noticed that this Friday (January 27, 2017) is a normal working day that, this year, is rather inconveniently sandwiched between the weekend, and Thursday’s public holiday for Australia Day.

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

In an interview with The Mercury, Managing Director Mr Paul Dundon at Direct Health Solutions, has given a rather dire prediction that is unsettling many Australian business decision makers.

He has predicted almost up to 380,000 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 AUD 54 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 Friday sickie at more than $62 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 this Friday.

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

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