Why it’s not such a great idea to pull a sickie

1. Guilt
You’ll spend most of your day worrying if the boss believes you are really sick and thinking of ways to convince everyone at work how sick you were. And, some poor sucker will have to work twice as hard because you’re not there.

2. You’re going to regret that when you spend the rest of the week trying to catch up.

3. Next week you probably are going to genuinely be sick – that’s called karma, and you’re going to have to think twice about having another day off.

Probably not a great idea to pull a sickie when you’re on a 90 day trial either. 

But then..

Sometimes it’s actually quite hard to tell if you are sick or not, so it’s a hard call to make, and then there are those days where you wake up feeling like ####  but as soon as you get up and about you feel great, especially because you’ve scored a day off.  And then there’s mental health days! 

On the other hand don’t be the person who comes to work with a stinking cold and spreads it around to everyone else and acts like they are some kind of saint!

There is no power in the Holidays Act for an Employer to force their Employees to take sick or unpaid leave, however Employers may want to consider alternative options, such as allowing the Employee to work from home or requiring a medical certificate to confirm they are fit to work.

When you’re really sick what do you do?

You need to tell your employer as soon as possible, that you are sick or injured and you want to take sick leave. A phone call is the best way to let your employer know, but your workplace may have its own systems to tell them you are sick.

You might have to prove it

If the employer asks for proof when you are away sick for less than three consecutive days, they should tell you as soon as possible that proof is required and must pay reasonable expenses incurred in getting that proof. They can’t insist that you visit a particular health provider.

If your employer asks for proof of your illness or injury when you are away sick for three or more consecutive days, you’ll have to pay the costs of visiting a doctor to get that proof. For example, if you have been off work for two consecutive days and are still sick on the third day, then your employer can ask you for a medical certificate and you would have pay for the cost of obtaining one.

If you don’t provide proof when it has been requested and don’t have a reasonable excuse, your employer is entitled to not pay you for the leave until you do provide proof.

The Medical Council of New Zealand has given the following guidelines as to what should be contained in the medical certificates:

Date of examination
Time period of treatment
Clinical opinion that outlines activities that are safe for the Employee to undertake and the appropriate restrictions.
Where medical certificates do not contain this information, and Employees consent, the Employer can request for further information to be provided from the medical professional.

What will happen if I get sick and have already used up all of my sick leave entitlement?

If you have to take time off work due to illness but have no sick leave entitlement, talk to your employer about your options. It’s most likely you will have to use some of your annual leave, take unpaid leave, or take sick leave in advance (e.g. if you have not worked there for long enough to have sick leave entitlement).

If you have been on sick leave for a prolonged period of time, or on ACC your employer doesn’t necessarily have to keep your job open for you.  Please get in touch if you are being dismissed due to being unable to work, and we will check your rights.

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