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Crackdown threatened on malingering pubes

By johnboy - 30 December 2013 49

The Australian is running with glee on news of a crackdown on sickies in the public service:

Senator Eric Abetz, the Minister assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, said “taxpayers are entitled to expect that their money is spent efficiently and effectively, with minimum waste on excessive sick leave”.

“Managing unscheduled absence is a critical issue for the Australian Public Service and is being addressed at the highest levels of the service,” Senator Abetz told The Australian. “Where agencies or departments have problems in this regard, agency heads should be taking steps to reduce sick rates.”

What’s Your opinion?


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49 Responses to
Crackdown threatened on malingering pubes
1
steveu 10:11 am
30 Dec 13
#

Treat the people like human beings, instead of employing ‘constructive dismissal’ management practices, and expect the number to drop. Simple.

With their renewed zest in a crackdown on ‘unplanned leave’ (I hope that definition is clear across all the public sector and doesnt vary) I think the dumbest thing that could happen is this compells people who are really sick drag themselves to work. Now that would be plain stupid.

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2
johnboy 10:19 am
30 Dec 13
#

I suspect they’re hoping to up the attrition rate

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3
steveu 10:27 am
30 Dec 13
#

johnboy said :

I suspect they’re hoping to up the attrition rate

Agreed, both side of politics have been doing this for almost two years now, but I suspect when they have publicly announced they have budgeted for redundancies, alot of people are probably going to sit tight till they get handed the envelope…and use up their sick leave whilst they are waiting.

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4
Roundhead89 10:29 am
30 Dec 13
#

Sickies? Perish the thought. When I was in Treasury we called them Dodulois – Day Off Due To Lack Of Interest.

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5
HiddenDragon 10:43 am
30 Dec 13
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A crackdown on sickies, isn’t that un-Australian?

But seriously, this is just a further sign that all the savings options, including many which would have been looked at repeatedly in the past, are being trawled through.

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6
Mr Evil 10:44 am
30 Dec 13
#

Good on him; and I look forward to seeing a similar press release from EricA tackling another huge wastage issue:

Senator Eric Abetz, the Minister assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, said “taxpayers are entitled to expect that their money is spent efficiently and effectively, with minimum waste on claims from senators and ministers for travel to private weddings, personal investment property inspections and other non-work related expenses”.

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7
Pollushon 11:06 am
30 Dec 13
#

The jackasses proposing the crackdown are the exact folk who’s work ethos is to ride the knife’s edge, grab what you can cos you’re entitled……

I had 6 this year, 2 for me and 4 for the kids. I have about 90 accrued after 8 years, I think that’s pretty good considering I’ve have two snot nosed kids since 04. Then again I was born and bred in the private sector.

Nevertheless when I was crook, it fell on a Thursday/Friday. I’ve been sick before, I didn’t go to a quack, I drank fluids and got lots of rest and low and behold by Sunday I was all good. So come Monday, it’s Stat Dec time, to go on my personnel file. Not the end of the world, but after 8 years of loyal and productive service it certainly reminds me that such things are meaningless and the APS is a sterile and cold environment.

I’d say if they looked into root cause they’d find that a lot of sick days would be from folk looking for other work and folk genuinely stressed/depressed. The APS is a very toxic place to be right now, nothing like the uncertainty of your future to bring you down and a bloke with a wingnut head telling you that the lottery is in progress, he’s looking for 12k winners. On top of that, where I am, all the good (intelligent), hardworking resources have left or taken a VR, leaving a smaller number of competent resources, who have way more responsibility than previously with the same amount of deadwood!

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8
IrishPete 11:09 am
30 Dec 13
#

Now please correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t sick leave require a medical certificate, unless it’s less than a certain number of days (3?), and less than a certain number in a year (7?)? So perhaps the problem is gullible doctors? I look forward to Mr Abetz taking on the Australian Medical Association. The Libs’ Griffith candidate may have something to say about that.

Sick leave is an entitlement – if the government is looking at cutting entitlements, it will probably have a fight on its hands. If it is accusing workers of taking sick days when not sick, then it probably already has mechanisms for investigating.

Personally I think the requirement to get a medical certificate is stupid unless the illness/injury required you to seek medical treatment anyway – there should probably just be a stricter requirement for the employee to disclose the nature of the illness to their HR folks, while being reminded of the potential penalties if they provide incorrect information. Most of my sick days (and they are few) have been taken as a result of poor sleep, which makes the commute, and possibly even being present in the workplace, more risky than I was comfortable with.

IP

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9
Masquara 11:48 am
30 Dec 13
#

IrishPete said :

Now please correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t sick leave require a medical certificate, unless it’s less than a certain number of days (3?), and less than a certain number in a year (7?)? So perhaps the problem is gullible doctors? I look forward to Mr Abetz taking on the Australian Medical Association. The Libs’ Griffith candidate may have something to say about that.

Sick leave is an entitlement – if the government is looking at cutting entitlements, it will probably have a fight on its hands. If it is accusing workers of taking sick days when not sick, then it probably already has mechanisms for investigating.

Personally I think the requirement to get a medical certificate is stupid unless the illness/injury required you to seek medical treatment anyway – there should probably just be a stricter requirement for the employee to disclose the nature of the illness to their HR folks, while being reminded of the potential penalties if they provide incorrect information. Most of my sick days (and they are few) have been taken as a result of poor sleep, which makes the commute, and possibly even being present in the workplace, more risky than I was comfortable with.

IP

Walk-in clinic statement is accepted in my workplace, as is a stat dec or an “alternative practitioner” (quack) certificate.

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10
JC 12:02 pm
30 Dec 13
#

IrishPete said :

Now please correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t sick leave require a medical certificate, unless it’s less than a certain number of days (3?), and less than a certain number in a year (7?)? So perhaps the problem is gullible doctors? I look forward to Mr Abetz taking on the Australian Medical Association. The Libs’ Griffith candidate may have something to say about that.

It varies from department to department, but the gist of what you are saying is indeed correct.

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11
milkman 12:50 pm
30 Dec 13
#

There are two types of people in most offices: those who come in even if they are on death’s door and those who don’t give a s*** and take a sickie for every sniffle. Policy won’t change this.

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12
JC 1:44 pm
30 Dec 13
#

milkman said :

There are two types of people in most offices: those who come in even if they are on death’s door and those who don’t give a s*** and take a sickie for every sniffle. Policy won’t change this.

If they have a sniffle then they are sick so entitled to take the day off, even if it is for the benefit of those around who also don’t want a sniffle. A sickie is when you take the day off sick when you are NOT sick.

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13
p1 2:24 pm
30 Dec 13
#

Unscheduled absences are not actually synonymous with sick leave. For example, if a schedule surgery in advance…

The only way organisations will reduce the number of sickies is through a culture of people wanting to be at work. Telling people you’ll give them the third degree when they come back in after a couple of days of feeling crap will not have that effect.

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14
banco 4:14 pm
30 Dec 13
#

p1 said :

Unscheduled absences are not actually synonymous with sick leave. For example, if a schedule surgery in advance…

The only way organisations will reduce the number of sickies is through a culture of people wanting to be at work. Telling people you’ll give them the third degree when they come back in after a couple of days of feeling crap will not have that effect.

Making the sick days non-cumulative would make a big change (ie sick days don’t carry over from year to year).

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15
johnboy 4:16 pm
30 Dec 13
#

I always thought paying out a portion of the value of unused sick days would have a salutory effect on absenteeism.

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