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Report On Australian’s Taking Unnecessary Sick Leave

1464 words - 6 pages

Report on Australian’s Taking Unnecessary Sick Leave


1. Introduction
The infamous 'sickie', better known as sick leave, is leave that workers can take when they cannot attend work due to being sick or injured and is crucial so that employees are not forced to choose between caring for their deteriorating health or working to keep gaining income (Scheil-Adlung & Sandner, 2010). Unfortunately, the sickie is being constantly abused by perfectly healthy Australians for a variety of reasons that often don't actually being sick. People are beginning to believe that taking unwarranted sick leave is a right instead of a privilege, and it is causing major losses in company's profits. The purpose of this report is to identify the potential problems that are causing employees to take unnecessary sick days and the possible solutions to those problems.
In this report, the possible reasons for employee absenteeism being covered are that the workplace roster may not be flexible enough, the staff could possibly be not receiving a sufficient amount of vacation leave from the company, and also some staff may not be feeling mentally capable of attending work on certain days. These points will be supported in sources from peer-reviewed journal articles.

2. Analysis and Critical Evaluation
One reason that employees may be taking unnecessary sick leave is that there may be a lack of flexibility in their workplace. Flexibility in the workplace is a popular way for employees to balance and better manage demands of work, family, and social obligations by allowing employees to modify when and for how long their job related work is performed (Butler, Grzywacz, Ettner & Liu, 2009). Flexible work schedules are often adopted by employers as it gives them the opportunity to be a more preferred employer while improving work place productivity at the same time (Coenen & Kok, 2014). Workplace flexibility can include letting an employee finish paperwork from home by a certain deadline instead of the employee coming into work to complete it, giving an employee the morning off to go to a doctors appointment as long as they finish the work they missed another time or in their own time, or letting an employee swap a shift with another employee so that they may attend a certain social event or commitment without losing income.
A lack of flexibility in the workplace can cause employee absenteeism as some things can be more important than work. Employees will often need to take time off to accommodate things like doctor’s appointments, family commitments, and social events. Employees who are also parents will not only have to accommodate for their needs, but for the needs of their children too, and would have to tend to more family commitments than usual as "there are approximately 55 days per year that parents are responsible for their children’s care when they have to work" (Schneider, 2011, p. 105). They may also have to get their shifts covered not because they are...

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