It’s the ‘sick day’ time of the year
EMPLOYERS are being warned to expect a rise in absenteeism as the winter season sets in.
This is because up to 40% of South African workers are planning to “pull a sickie”, mostly this month and during July.
Winter is mostly known for its miserable cold weather and is often the season for colds and flu, or better yet a time for employees to call in sick.
Pharma Dynamics noted that “pulling a sickie” was when employees called in sick at work when in fact they did not want to face a day in the office.
Pharma Dynamics spokesperson Nicole Jennings said most people had admitted to having pulled a sickie.
“About 45% of people surveyed said they do so two to three times a year, while 15% do so even more often,” she said.
“A total of 40%, whose conscience probably gets the better of them, can only bring themselves to do so once annually.”
What made matters worse was that more than 50% of absent staff roped their partners or children in to take a duvet day with them.
Jennings said 20% did not have either a partner or a child, which implied that if they did, they would probably get them to bunk with them too, and the remaining 29% preferred to do so solo.
“The top excuses for calling in sick include coming down with a cold or flu, a stomach bug or migraine, personal reasons, home emergencies (such as a burst geyser, alarm problems etc) and transport difficulties,” according to Jennings.
She advised employers to challenge the authenticity of an excuse by requesting a doctor’s note, or to ask for evidence if they started to notice a pattern of absenteeism.
She said gone were the days when sick employees phoned their bosses directly to offer an explanation.
“Nowadays the most popular way to call in sick is by text message,” she said.
Jennings recommended taking a supplement that contained vitamin C, echinacea and zinc, a combination proven to strengthen the immune system, to avoid catching a cold and missing work.