Employers face up to a bout of Mondayitis
WITH the Australia Day public holiday falling on a Tuesday, Sunshine Coast business leaders are worried their workforces might be swept by a phantom flu today.
It costs employers an average $1300 a week to cover the cost of workers taking sick days, on top of the cost of hiring temporary staff, Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland senior policy advisor Kate Whittle said.
"Employers do get nervous when there's an opportunity for a long weekend to be taken," she said.
Responsible employees would have taken leave if they wanted the day off, she said.
"In that way they can have a clear conscience, and with that clear conscience we would encourage them to go ahead and have a great holiday and spend big on local businesses," she said.
Retail Express founder and CEO Aaron Blackman agreed it was "an issue for a lot of businesses".
He said the weekly cost of staff taking sick days in his technology business, which employs 40 people, was $2500.
"The average Aussie wouldn't hesitate to chuck a sickie and wouldn't even be embarrassed about it," he said.
If an organisation had a great culture and took "great pride" in making the workplace a fun and enjoyable place to be, people would be embarrassed to take fake sick days, he said.
"If the culture is really not great, then it's about sticking it to the boss," he said.
"We try to provide a really cool place for them to come to."
Kawana-based insurance giant Budget Direct anticipated a higher level of absenteeism on Monday than normal.
However, team leaders were sure the call centre would not be understaffed, spokesman Brad Seymour said.
"We've staffed adequately though and have prioritised RDO (rostered day off) availability for those with families to make sure we can help people manage that through, so hopefully we've been a little bit smarter about how we plan for it," he said.
"We have a very high ratio of team leads to operators in our call centre environment so therefore we're able to be very open and very honest about peoples' plans."
Mr Seymour said he expected call volumes would likely be down on Monday, so there was room for flexibility.
Mr Seymour said Budget Direct employed staff at a range of ages, and this also helped make sure their holiday plans didn't all clash.
"It's not all parents, and not all younger staff or older staff," he said.
"It is a much harder thing to plan for than a normal Monday. That's the cost of doing business."