Chamber of Commerce president Ron Bishop says it will hurt businesses if employees take a sickie today.
Chamber of Commerce president Ron Bishop says it will hurt businesses if employees take a sickie today. Max Fleet

A sickie will hurt business

WITH many Bundaberg region residents set for backyard barbecues or plans to head to the beach this Australia Day, the temptation to “chuck a sickie” today has been mounting.

However, small businesses warn the effects of an employee taking the day off without notice can be devastating.

The Shoe Fringe owner Anne Canniford said sick days affected her small business more than it would a larger business because she had less staff to call to fill a shift.

“The first thing you do is hit the panic button,” Ms Canniford said.

“Inevitably you find yourself cancelling all sorts of things so you can do it yourself.”

Ms Canniford said her staff rarely had sick days and she was confident they had never “faked it”.

“If they call in sick they usually have not been very well the day before. I think if they were not actually sick my other staff would be really annoyed,” she said.

Ms Canniford said small businesses did have one benefit that larger businesses did not have when it came to absent staff.

“Everyone can do everyone else’s job so we can all fill in when needed,” she said.

Oscar Hotel owner Wendy Carter said sick days meant a busy staff.

“For a small business we don’t have a lot of staff so it’s difficult to replace them, especially if they have a special skill or task which no-one else can do,” she said.

Mrs Carter said her staff frowned on those taking a sickie.

“If anyone thinks it is not a genuine sick day then they are quite annoyed but they pitch in and get it done.”

Bundaberg Chamber of Commerce chairman Ron Bishop said fake sick days were “just not a nice thing to do”.

“It can really hurt the employer because they may not have the staff and may have to pay extra for casual rates,” Mr Bishop said.

Mr Bishop urged employees to think every time they considered taking a sick day.

“Anytime you don’t show up for work on short notice, that is going to have an impact on the business.”



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