Gen Xers more likely to 'chuck a sickie' to go to the beach
SICK leave is a privilege more than a right, but one in seven Australian workers have been taking advantage of the sunny weather and 'chucking a sickie' to go to the beach this summer.
New research from finder.com.au shows that 14% of Australians admit they have called in sick to spend the day at the beach.
Figures show absenteeism is costing Aussie businesses $645 million in lost productivity
The survey of 2,031 Australians found that women were more likely than men to have called in sick if the beach conditions were too good to pass up.
Bessie Hassan, Money Expert at finder.com.au says good beach conditions were not an acceptable reason to take a day off.
"Over 1.6 million workers have given work the flick to go to the beach - at a cost of about $380 per worker per day," she said.
"We've sweated through one of the hottest summers on record - and the temptation of the beach has been too much for some."
Ms Hassan urged workers to lodge an annual leave day rather than chucking a sickie.
"There's a bit of a culture in Australia where we think it's 'our right' to take sickies - when in fact sick leave should be viewed as a safety net if you or a family member come down with an illness or injury that forces you to take a day off," she said.
"It's also worth reading the fine print of your employment contract and income protection policy before calling in sick.
"Most companies have strict policies when it comes to how and when you can use your sick leave, and income protection usually comes with a waiting period before you're eligible to start receiving benefit payments."
Depending on the policy, income protection waiting periods can range from 14 days up to 720 days.
The research revealed one in five Generation Y workers (those aged 18-34) had taken a sickie to take a midweek beach break, compared to 15% of Generation X (aged 35-54) and just 8% of Baby Boomers (aged 55-74).