Mondayitis is an illness, real or imagined, that strikes three per cent of Australians on any given workday.
But it gets worse before a holiday.
Stephen Cartwright from the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Business is questioning the leap in sick days.
“Logically there is no reason five per cent of the population gets sick on the day between a public holiday and weekend, and three per cent normally.”
This Monday, 180-thouasnd sickies are tipped to cost the country 62 million dollars.
On the street, people say a fake sickie is poor form:
“It’s inconvenient for your boss, especially if you call in the morning then they have to find a replacement.,” said one.
“If it’s on the day after Australia Day and you take a sickie, I feel that reflects badly on you, said another.
“Yeah it is so obvious.”
Obvious or not, for many workplaces – it’s the doctor’s call.
And the proof is in the signing of a sick note – a requirement of many workplaces, on the days preceding or following a weekend or holiday.
Australian Medical Association Chair, Dr Brian Morton, says doctors should act ethically.
“You take the patient’s word, but there have to be genuine symptoms and signs to justify the writing of that certificate … The system needs a change, because we don’t need to medicalise a workplace issue. The employer can negotiate with employees and make rules.”
The AMA believes the cost of verifying sick leave should not be carried by the health system.
But Stephen Cartwright says the alternative is a crippling cost to industry.
“What you’re essentially saying is in addition to the 13 public holidays, in addition to the four weeks of annual leave – we are actually going to give another two weeks of leave, and the employers are going to pay for that. And I think the big danger in all of that is we’ve got to go back to why sick leave was invented in the first place, which was to say, if you are sick – and sometimes you can get sicknesses that last a week or two weeks – you’re not going to miss out on wages in those periods where you are genuinely unwell.”
In the age of social media, the experts have a warning: take a sick day at your own risk and think before you post a photo online – or that stretch of days off could be indefinite.
And the general consensus on the streets:
“If you don’t want to work, don’t get a job”
“You gotta work, you gotta do what you gotta do I guess.”
Unless of course, you really are sick.