It’s the ‘sick day’ time of the year

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - VIRGILATTE GWANGWA

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.

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