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Media Release

Recovery continues as jobs return but economy still fragile

21 January 2021

The Hunter Business Chamber is urging employees intending to take an extra-long weekend this Australia Day to do the right thing and talk to their bosses rather than taking a ‘sickie’.

“With the Australia Day public holiday falling on a Tuesday this year, employees have a great opportunity to take the Monday off as well and enjoy a little extra break before the year really kicks off,” Chamber CEO Bob Hawes said.

“After the pressures of 2020 and COVID-19, it’s a great chance for workers to recharge, however it’s important to do it the right way and talk to your employer about using your annual leave, roster day or flex time entitlements.

“Business owners and managers have had a tough time through COVID as well and the last thing they need is to be left short-staffed on Monday or have the financial and administrative burden of having to call in last-minute casuals to cover unplanned leave.”

Mr Hawes said employees should be aware that their bosses may be able to request a medical certificate to validate any sick leave taken, depending on their workplace policy. Employees who call in sick could also be required to have a COVID test and self-isolate until their results are available.

“Sickies cost employers millions of dollars a year, while inconveniencing customers and co-workers,” Mr Hawes said.

“However, most employers are happy to accommodate reasonable leave requests if the business operation allows it or replacement staff can be found.

“I really encourage both employers and employees to have that conversation and put formal leave arrangements in place.

“That way, everything is above board and workers won’t have to front up to the boss on Wednesday to explain why there was an Instagram photo of them at the beach on Monday.”


Amy De Lore
Policy and Public Affairs Manager 
P: 02 9466 5665
M: 0419 218 830


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