Australia Day sickies
"Sydney, Australia - January 26, 2012: Crowded Bondi Beach on Australia Day."


Australia Day landing on a Thursday this year isn’t stopping millions of Aussies from enjoying a long weekend.

In fact, according to a survey commissioned by HotelsCombined, 35 per cent of workers are planning to take Friday off, whether or not their employers are aware.

Researchers found that the majority (29 per cent) of respondents were taking an annual leave day, while an additional 6 per cent planned to chuck a sickie.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) CEO, James Pearson, urged employees to do the right thing and take a day’s leave.

He said the number of people taking sick leave on Friday could be 180,000 people more than a typical work day, costing Australian employers more than $62 million.

“With Australia Day falling on Thursday, many people will want to be off work on Friday to make the most of summer and the last days of school holidays,” he said.

“But employees wanting to take an extended break ought to do the right thing: apply for a day of annual leave on Friday rather than claiming a sickie. Misusing sick leave erodes trust in the work place, puts extra strain on colleagues doing the right thing and leaves people short of sick leave when they genuinely need it.”

Pearson also pointed to the millions of Australians who are unable to take a long weekend as they provide essential services, and thanked business owners who will be working hard.

“Across Australia Day and the weekend there will be many people hard at work, including providing the essential services that we all depend on.

“Many business operators and their staff will also be busy, particularly in retail, hospitality and tourism. We thank all these people for their dedication, and hope they enjoy a break at another time of year.”

With Anzac Day also on a Tuesday this year, there’s a high chance we will be revisiting the contentious topic of chucking a sickie again in April.


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