The great Australian tradition of chucking a sickie – what can a boss do?

The great Australian tradition of chucking a sickie – what can a boss do?

Who hasn’t thought about doing it?

Google “chucking a sickie” and you will be presented with a number of how to guides, drawing on the proud Australian tradition – particularly following the recent Australia Day public holiday.

While it might be a laugh for some, if you suspect an employee is trying to pull a quick one past you, what can you do?

In Australia, the Fair Work Act 2009 provides full-time employees with 10 paid days of sick leave (personal/carer’s leave under the Act) and part-time employees with a pro-rata entitlement.

As the law currently stands, if an employee claims a day of paid personal/carer’s leave, you as their employer can request evidence of the requirement to take leave. For a sick day, employers most commonly ask for a medical certificate.

If a request has been made for evidence and the employee fails to provide that evidence, their request for paid leave can be refused.

So, can you prevent an employee from having a “doona day” and sleep off that hang-over? No, but you can require they provide you with a medical certificate for the leave. Consider making it company policy that sick leave taken immediately before or following a public holiday or weekend requires a medical certificate, or otherwise as required by the company.

With so many public holidays just around the corner, how many of your staff do you suspect are thinking of chucking a sickie?

If you have any questions about sick leave and need a hand, get in touch with the team at HR Law today.

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