Chucking a sickie on the rise

Despite any attempt by businesses to stop the practice, Australian workers are taking sick days at an increasing level – and it’s adding up.

According to a report from Direct Health Solutions, the average Australian worker takes 8.62 days off a year due to ill health. But 28% of companies say workers taking sick leave has increased over the past year, while 62.5% of manufacturing and production firms say workers are taking more sick leave.

But public servants are taking the most – an average of 10.8 days a year. DHS chief executive Paul Dundon tells news.com.au the leave is getting too expensive, with the average cost of absence at $354 per person per day.

This equates to $26.6 billion in lost productivity for the Australian economy each year, according to the report.

“There are a lot companies we know, big companies and public sector companies, using taxpayer money that have got people taking 18 to 20 days sick leave on average per year. Up to 8% of their workforce won’t show up on any day (due to) sick leave.”

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