Why Are Aussies Expected To ‘Chuck A Sickie’ Today?

Today is predicted to be the most popular day for “chucking a sickie” in 2024, as many Australians are gearing up to extend their long weekend by calling in sick.

This trend has sparked concerns among business groups regarding its potential impact on the economy, particularly small businesses.

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According to predictions, a significantly higher number of workers than usual are anticipated to use their sick leave to create a four-day weekend. 

Jessica Tinsley, the workplace relations director at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, highlights the negative consequences of unplanned absences on businesses. 

“While some Aussies may think that chucking the odd ‘sickie’ is a bit of fun, the truth is that it hurts small business and is against the law,” she said.

“Personal leave is for those who are genuinely unfit for work.”

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Under current workplace laws, employers have the right to request evidence, such as a medical certificate, for even short periods of absence due to illness or injury. 

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Failure to provide such evidence upon request may result in the forfeiture of sick leaves.

Luke Achterstraat, the chief executive of the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia, also emphasised the financial strain such absences impose on small businesses.

“In Australia, there’s a bit of a casual culture of taking a “sickie” but it’s important to remember for small businesses that comes with a real financial cost,” he said.

Despite the perception of taking a “sickie” as a casual practice, Mr Achterstraat said the tangible costs associated with it for small businesses. 

“When someone else is paying for it, it sounds like a good idea. But in reality, we know it has a real impact for small business.”

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