Mental health days

In New Zealand, you are expected to come to work if you are physically able.  But what about  if you’re having an 0ff-day mentally?

Workers pulling sickies are costing the economy millions of dollars but a business boss says the answer could be as simple as letting staff start late if they’re nursing a Christmas party hangover.

A Wellness in the Workplace survey show sickies taken by people who aren’t really ill are estimated to account for 303,000 lost days of work each year, at a cost of $283 million.

Some employers say it’s a significant cause of workplace absenteeism, and one in five say staff treat sick leave as an occasional perk, the survey found.

The country’s largest health insurer, Southern Cross, which did the survey, said while it was impossible to gauge the exact level of fake sickness businesses needed to look at workplace culture and how often sickies were happening.

In some other countries they have the concept of a “Mental Health” day.  You phone in, tell them you have no good reason to not come in, other than not wanting to.  

Of course, those are for days of melancholy or other non-physical reasons for being less than your best.

They aren’t meant to be taken so you can attend the cricket.

The Wellness in the Workplace survey, which also involved BusinessNZ and Gallagher Bassett, found workers aged 20 to 40 were the most likely to take sick days for other activities.

Those taking sickies were also more likely to be employed by large organisations – companies with fewer than five staff reported almost no workers throwing sickies.

“It’s clear that there is a perception among a number of employers that some days of paid sickness are seen as an entitlement by their staff, regardless of whether they are actually sick – in essence an addition to annual leave,” said Business NZ chief executive Phil O’Reilly.

He said it was important for employers to look for ways to change the sickie culture.

It is easier to steal time from an amorphous “company” than it is to look John the company owner in the eye the next day and have to admit you watched New Zealand bowl out the West Indies in person.

Still, I think we’ve all experienced a day here and there where you simply didn’t get up in a mood for work, and perhaps some sick days should be able to be taken without the need for a medical certificate.

Any company that isn’t already accruing sick leave as de facto annual leave is being naive, although, from memory, where annual leave accumulates, taken sick leave not taken doesn’t.


Source:  that nice Lynley Bilby at the Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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