This year, Australia Day falls on a Thursday, which means we're all expected to return to work on Friday. (Boo-urns!) Consequently, a lot of workers will be contemplating faking an illness so they can really cut loose on Australia Day and then enjoy a four-day weekend. But what do bosses think about this?
It is estimated that some 380,000 Australian workers will be “chucking a sickie” the day after Australia Day. This will obviously put a strain on businesses, with some experts claiming it could cost up to $50 million.
Business Insider recently asked 17 Aussie bosses to share their thoughts about and how they planned to manage the situation. Here are some of the responses.
Andre Eikmeier, co-founder and joint CEO of Vinomofo
Well, we have a rule here at Vinomofo – if you play up, you show up. Being a wine company, it’s a fairly important productivity rule. Having said that, we’re pretty flexible with our work environment. No problem if someone wants to work from home, for whatever reason. Plus, balancing personal and family time is important – it’s a good chance to get away for a long weekend with the family, and we wouldn’t begrudge anyone that. Everyone here knows what they have to get done. That’s what counts.
Nick Bell, founder and MD of WME Group
A few years ago, we decided to make it company policy that team members are required to provide a medical certificate if they take a sick day. It’s definitely had tangible results.
Our team is generally pretty good with taking annual leave, which is an option if they decide they want to take this Friday off. We’ll approve it – it just means it bites into their overall hours of leave accrued (and they’ll likely cop a bit of light-hearted riffing the following Monday if they happen to pull a Friday sickie!).
John Winning, CEO of Appliances Online
I believe if you have the right culture your people will feel comfortable asking for the time off and will have faith that, if they plan ahead, you will work with them to make sure they get it. If people are willing to let your business down because they are hungover, or worse because they were too afraid to ask for time off, it is a reflection of the company culture. At the Winning Group we trust our people to have planned ahead and make the right decisions.and location.
Greg Bader, CEO of Rent.com.au
To be honest I’m not too fussed about people taking the day off on Friday.
There’s plenty happening at the moment at Rent.com.au and many of our people have been working late and on the weekends.
Being an online startup business we tend not to be too formal with forms – we actually hate paperwork to be honest – and we’re pretty flexible on working hours and location.
Adam Brimo, founder and CEO of OpenLearning
I think it’s unfortunate that there is a culture of lying about whether or not you are sick just so you can take a day off. I trust everyone on our team to manage their time appropriately and decide when they want to take a holiday so I’ve never rejected a leave request. Some of our team have decided to take a holiday on Friday, others may work from home and if someone says they are sick, I trust that they are sick.
You can see the rest of the responses over on Business Insider.