Don’t pull an obvious sickie this Australia Day

THE Northern Rivers - NSW Business Chamber is urging employees to talk to their bosses now about taking an annual leave day next Monday, rather than risk their reputation with an obvious long weekend 'sickie'.

Regional Manager of the Northern Rivers - NSW Business Chamber, John Murray, said that with the Australia Day public holiday falling on a Tuesday this year, employees have a great opportunity to take the Monday off as well and enjoy a little extra break before the year really kicks off.

"It's important to do it the right way and talk to your employer now about using your annual leave," he said.

"Calling in sick before a mid-week public holiday will fool no one and only serves to damage personal reputations and workplace morale.

"The NSW Business Chamber estimates that the number of additional 'sickies' taken nationally leading up to the Australia Day public holiday could be as high as 180,000, costing the nation's employers up to $62 million.

"More people are sharing aspects of their personal lives through social media than ever before, which means there is a genuine chance of getting caught doing the wrong thing.

"You might not be foolish enough to post a picture of yourself at the beach, but can you be sure that one of your friends won't?

"Apart from being extremely unprofessional and unfair to both your employer and co-workers, if an employee is found to breach their duty of good faith when calling in sick, there can be serious consequences - including termination.

"The sensible thing to do is to plan ahead; talk to your employer now so they can make changes to rosters, and you can enjoy an extra day off and have a fun and enjoyable Australia Day weekend.

"I'd encourage employers in the Northern Rivers region to be supportive of last-minute leave requests for the Australia Day weekend.

"Accrued leave balances are like a debt for businesses and it is in everyone's best interest that employees take the extra day off and come back to work refreshed and ready for a productive year ahead."



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