Monday, January 25, 2010

In Australia, we enjoy enjoy quite a few long weekends. Usually the Monday is the designated public holiday. We have Easter Monday, Queen's Birthday weekend in June, the October Long weekend and those in the banking sector get a day off sometime but since it doesn't affect me I couldn't tell you when but some public holidays fall on the date they are due. Christmas and Boxing Day and New Year's Day of course, Australia day on the 26th
January and ANZAC day on the 25th April.

This year, Australia Day falls on a Tuesday and so today . . . Australia chucked a sickie . . .
en masse

We receive between 9 and 22 paid 'Personal Leave' days a year. These can be used for illness, or to support an immediate relative during times of illness or need. Apparently Australians take an average 91/2 days a year, their European counterparts, just 7. Big Whoop!

Personal leave is of course fully paid, accumulative and not redeemable upon resignation or termination so most Aussies take their full complement during the year. This is on top of 20 days paid Annual leave for most, some careers even more. Teachers for instance have 11 weeks paid leave and 22 sick days.

Apparently around 500,000 workers blew off work today to snare themselves a four-day weekend. Even more elected to take a day's legitimate leave and enjoy a four-day weekend (I would have, but since I haven't accrued much leave and had to forfeit quite a bit during the Christmas close-down . . I did turn up to work!)

The head of the Retailers Association, Scott Driscoll, says people who joined the mass sick day are un-Australian. Oh what a crock of horse shit. Aussies are 'master's at the engineered sickie!

Research conducted by absence-management firm Direct Health Solutions shows that the increase in workers taking sick days today will cost the economy about $257 million. WOW! And Nick Behrens, the general manager of policy at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Queensland, says workers who fake illness today are being selfish. No, employers are being greedy and stupid expecting anything else.

Oh for goodness sakes . . who's bright idea was it to have the day off 'on the day'. I mean, we have Easter conveniently at whatever equinox happens to be around and enjoy a Friday and a Monday off. Nobody says "right, Good Friday is on the 22nd April every year . . " which in itself is stupid I mean, how did Christ get crucified and rise again on a different day each year!

Mr Behrens says having the day off will hurt employers and contribute to a $30 billion annual sick day bill for the Australian economy. Well duh! Have the holiday on the MONDAY. Let's face it. Our indigenous population doesn't mind the idea of celebrating being Australian but does have a problem with it being the date of 'invasion' when Capt. Cook declared 'terra nullis' despite the presence of a huge aboriginal population!

The twat also said, "Employers have stepped up over the last 12 to 18 months and done everything possible to ensure that they have not had to let their employees go when there wasn't necessarily the work for them to do." Oh for goodness sakes, that's a load of gobshite. I for one lost my job thanks to the GFC and so did thousands of others!

Apparently the most likely to 'fake' illness today were, Union members and mums and dads and Generation X (who let's face it take a sickie if they didn't get to watch the last episode of True Blood). Let me tell you, after working for one company for 15 years and being retrenched, then another for 9 years and being retrenched I don't appreciate being 'preached' to about loyalty!

All I can say is that my workplace was like a ghost town today. I don't know who took sickies or who had legitimate
e leave but the place was empty. It was wonderful. The phones didn't ring, I could flit from desk to desk doing the filing for my five men and leave at 5pm, right on time! Thank you sickie takers, you made my day. I was more productive so at least made up for a couple of dodgy absences. At least thanks to Kyle . . fewer people are confessing on FB:


Dragonfly said...

Hey True Blue! What a gal showing up to work today :-)
Sometimes I wish I was back being employed so I too can have paid annual leave and sickies!! I so miss those. Now I'm my own boss, so having a sickie isn't quite as enjoyable!!!!
It so true that there's no incentive not to take your entitlements - I worked with a company that went bust after I gave 14 years of service and I got robbed of long service leave etc.
Happy Australia day to you for tomorrow!!!
I'm gonna have blog drinks tomorrow - pop in for a coldie :-)

Sarah Lulu said...

Oh I think the sick is SOOOOOOO
Australian. I didn't take one but I was tempted!

nick said...

My last but one job lasted 5½ years and I didn't take a single day sick. I'm too healthy by half. If I had taken a day sick, nobody would have believed me.

Glad all those sickies worked out to your advantage and you had a nice easy day at work.

RyanIAm said...

True story, i went to school, with kyle.

otin said...

It is Monday morning here and I am having a rain day! You can't do construction in the pouring rain!

Kate said...

Paid sick days? I wish ... 20 days holiday, all bank holidays (fridays and Mondays) and no paid sick.....
Think all my staff must be Australian today though - they have all called in sick!!!! I'm having a helluva day!!!

Ocean Girl said...

Sounds so familiar...

JeffScape said...


Wasn't it Australian workers who, in the middle of World War II, decided they didn't care about "no stinkin' war" and went on strike anyway?

You make it sound so apropos. ;)

Jill said...

I dig Kyle's PURE honesty on that one!

hokgardner said...

And I thought us Yanks had mastered not going to work . . .

People here joke about how federal employees never have to go to work because of all the mandated holidays.

Grannymar said...

A quiet day at the office is a great lead into a holiday. Enjoy!

steph said...

Well, I suppose, at least it was nice 'n cool in work?

Wish I got paid for 'sick' days! :-(

Have a great day off tomorrow, Baino

i beati said...


Brian Miller said...

yeah, my boys are off for flooding today. on friday they were off for ice (rain)...i think the teachers needed a break after the long christmas holiday. lol. glad you had a good day!

Roy said...

Here in the States taking a sick day when you aren't actually is called taking a "mental health day". Considering some of the places I've worked, that's a perfect description. And it shows you what a stellar employer The Home Depot is (the entire chain, not jut the particular store I worked in) is plagued with employees taking frequent mental health days.

So it looks like the entire working population of Oz has declared a national mental health day.

kj said...

i see this on the editorial page of your major newspaper, honey hells. okay, you'd have to clean up a word or two, but manohman can you make a point!

i had no idea australians have so many days off each year. that is healthy and family smart. here in the u.s. many/most are lucky to have two week's vacation and one week sick leave, perhaps one or two personal days but not always. that is not healthy and family smart.

we have family leave laws, for emergencies or illness, but without pay.

so i would say your country makes more sense that my country and i doubt there is higher productivity from workers who work more.

very interesting, ms. baino. hey! i kind of miss you. where have we been?

Megan said...

I want to live there. Although I do get a couple extra holidays because I work for a bank, we still only get 1 "personal" day - and they helpfully assign it for us to the day after Thanksgiving (always on Thursday, who knows why).

I agree, why does the day absolutely have to be the DAY?

Colette Amelia said...

you go girl! dam straight!

yes it is a little sickening to be preached at when it is the little people who always get it up the arse!

Baino said...

Better to be your own boss Dragonfly . . .sickies and leave don't make up for being a wage slave

I was sorely tempted Sarah but it was a good opportunity to catch up without any interruptions

Same with me Nick but when I needed the time off, sick days came in very handy.

Did you Ryan? That was some time ago but he certainly got caught in the act!

Ah I bet you look forward to the bad weather then Otin.

Kate you don't have to be in Oz to celebrate! Haha! Perhaps they're preparing for a big day today.

Really Ocean? Malaysians chuck sickies too?

Not sure about that Jeff . . .perhaps we just have the work/life balance down pat!

Cost him his job though Jill!

Yeh we get a few Heather enjoyed by all though so very egalitarian.

Grannymar I got heaps done and still managed to leave early

Poor Steph. Yep, at least there's aircon

Haha. . . ours go back after six weeks on Thursday Brian. Then the traffic starts

I've heard them called 'Sanity' days before Roy. Not quite the entire population but a goodly part of it.

Sorry kj. Had a few computer problems and escaped a bit over the weekend. Yeh, the 'family' leave thing is new. I used to have to take sick days if my kids weren't well but we've always had 9 gazetted days each year.

I get a rostered day off a month as well Megan! And a day off before Christmas as a gazetted company day so not too shabby. Mind you I work a 42 hour week most weeks so . . .

Employers wouldn't have anything to complain about if it fell on a Monday.

Tom said...

Australia day is also Toby's birthday; we will celebrate too, but in the snow, alas. Geez, can puppy dogs eat cake?!!!

Baino said...

Well Tom, given that they are partial to eating their own poo, I think cake would be fine. Happy birthday Toby!

Ronda Laveen said...

As I'm self-employeed and get nada, all those off days are pretty enticing.

But I'm like you, I get so much more done when no one is around.

Mmm said...

Yes in the States, we get so little vacation and so few national days off. I love all those bank holiday weekends you lot have! Quite jealous, really.

Kate Hanley said...

Unfortunately in theater we don't get sick days. Actually I think our union allows them but the show has to run for a while before they kick in, so it's 6 days a week for 3 months but then I get time off so it works out. I do agree, the day shouldn't have to be the day and I'm glad you got some real work done! The best time to take off work is when no one else is taking the day off so you can get real shopping done!

River said...

I've never agreed with chucking a sickie. I prefer to work and save my sick leave for when I really need it. Like on days when my back hurts too much to even get out of bed, let alone walk upright. Being a rostered employee makes it difficult too, as people who ring in "sick", genuine or otherwise, means the supervisor has to phone around trying to find someone else to cover that shift. Even when working in a factory, I didn't take sickies unless it was necesary, it just isn't fair on everyone else who turns up and has to work harder to get the day's quota done. go ahead and call me unaustralian, I don't care.

Quickroute said...

I was paid by the hour when I worked in Oz so sickies were an expensive option - Kyle either very brave or very foolish

Annie Ha said...

I like the term, "sickie." Gonna start using it.

Lorna Lilo said...

Don't mind the sickie pullers just come up with something original. Food poisoning is so 80's, no one believes migraine even when they are geniune and gastro is only half true considering the truck load of booze consumed the night before.

jay said...

I think I must be very old fashioned - I never did throw a sickie. Well, not since my first job at the age of sixteen, anyway, and even then I had to convince myself I wasn't feeling great before I could do it. I still can't even park on double yellow lines or in a 'drop off' point. What did my parents do to me?? I'm damaged! LOL!

I take your point about it being more sensible to have the holidays on a Monday though. Most of them are symbolic anyway.

laughingwolf said...

didn't expect you lot to know tis robert burns day... :P lol