Are Sick Days a Thing of the Past?

Discussion in 'The CookingBites Cafe' started by The Late Night Gourmet, 17 Jan 2019.

  1. When I started working (a LONG time ago), I never thought of taking a sick day. If I had a low energy day, I went in anyway, thinking I'd power through it. I had some years where I never took a sick day (we used to get a bonus for that, but I continued this practice even after the bonus stopped).

    Then I met my wife. One day, I was feeling under the weather, and I started getting ready for work anyway. She asked me if I had paid sick days at Ford, and I said that we did. Then, she asked why I wasn't taking a sick day. Funny, but I never thought of it until then: there was a provision all along to account for days when the employee was sick. It's so obvious, but I never processed it that way. All of a sudden, I realized that it wasn't just about getting work done at all costs, but also about taking care of myself (and not getting my coworkers sick, too). So, I started using sick days, but even then it was still a rarity.

    Things have changed as my office (and many others) have started to allow telecommuting, or working remotely. When you're sick, it's not expected that you work, but many do anyway.

    This article got me to thinking about that:

    Here's the text of that article:

    Remote work has extended the office into the home, formerly the hard and fast refuge of employees taking sick days. Now, many feel compelled to do some work, answer e-mail and even jump on conference call when feeling bad. At the same time, the definition of a sick day has been extended to cover other needs, like having to care for a family member in a pinch. In view of this, and out of respect for employee privacy, some companies are now calling the days off “personal emergency days.”

    As a result, “no longer does the employee have to ‘sell’ their sickness to the boss with a list of symptoms,” writes The New York Times.
  2. medtran49

    medtran49 Über Member

    SE Florida
    For years and years, the company I used to work for gave you 3 days PTO, no questions asked, as well as whatever PTO you were allotted depending on how long you had been there.
  3. CraigC

    CraigC Über Member

    SE Florida
    I used to power through days when I felt bad, then again I also put many unpaid hours in. Not anymore! I use my sick days and will not work for free ever again.
  4. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    In my previous life before retirement I was 'in charge' of over 100 staff. There was definitely a pattern of those that hardly ever (if ever) took a day sick and those that frequently did so. Now - either the folk who did so were prone to illness or the ones who didn't just braved it through. A bit of both I think. It was very difficult to deal with those who really did seem to be taking advantage and having lots of sick days. The formal step (which couldn't be taken lightly) was a 'capability study' which could involve them being referred to doctor for assessment.
  5. MypinchofItaly

    MypinchofItaly Veteran

    Before joining the advertising world, I worked for many years in the Human Resources .. the days of illness have always been seen with some suspicion, above all because it is a right that many have then abused. The sense of duty (in general) is a personal matter, but it must be used to the best, without taking away an inalienable right such as sickness, rest, even turn off the phone when needed, without feeling guilty. Probably also depends on the type of role that is covered. There are roles that can "better" enjoy the sickness without being called every 5 minutes, whilst others that have more difficulty unplugging.
    Last edited: 17 Jan 2019
  6. CraigC

    CraigC Über Member

    SE Florida
    Once you realize that you are being taken for granted/advantage of, guilt goes away really quickly. When I was teaching scuba and driving a cattle dive boat, I was in heaven. Then I realized I was working 80+ hours a week without compensation!:headshake:When I finally got a real job, I no longer let anyone take advantage of me.:okay:
  7. MypinchofItaly

    MypinchofItaly Veteran

    More than right. Also because nobody tells you "Hey look, I realized you're working for free".
    A note about scuba: I can not say I'm a sub, but I got the patent and I still remember diving with great enthusiasm. Then I stopped. In Milan it is difficult to find reefs.
  8. CraigC

    CraigC Über Member

    SE Florida
    When I saw the "Blue Grotto" off of Capri, I wanted to dive from the outside, up into it. After Jack Caster (Jacques Coustteau) and his cronies did some serious damage to the fish population in the Med, he decided that it wasn't a good idea, so the company that used his image on their products, stopped making/selling spearfishing equipment. One of his first TV specials featured the "Bahamas Blue Hole". This is some deep water surrounded by a coral atoll, where the corals is above the ocean at low tide. One of the first things I noticed was that the Calypso was actually inside the atoll. It was years later that the owner of the dive store I worked at showed me pictures, that he kept in a safe, how the Calypso got inside the atoll. The use of explosives on living coral!:mad:
  9. Wyshiepoo

    Wyshiepoo Well-Known Member

    The States of Guernsey, our government and my employer use a thing called the Bradford Factor. It's a way of totting up a persons sick leave. It puts more weight on the number of times someone is ill rather than the total number of days. It helps to differentiate between lead swingers and people who are genuinely ill.
    It works by multiplying the number of times you are ill by the number of days you are ill. If your Bradford Factor reaches a set level then your manager may call you in to find out why your score is so high.

    So if you have 1 bout of illness that lasts 10 days you have a score of 10. however if you have 10 bouts of illness that total 10 days you have a much higher score of 100.
    As for myself I prided myself on rarely taking a sick day, even to the extent of being sent home by my manager once at work rather than phoning in. Just lately I've been a lot more pro active and recently took a couple of days off ill for a nasty cold.
  10. rascal

    rascal Über Member

    When I started work many years ago you got paid but the hour and at the end of the year you got holiday pay. 6% of your total earnings. That covered your 2 weeks off at Xmas. I don't think sick pat came in til I was working in an office, we got 5 days a week. It's pretty much the same now, but when I had 10 employees I went by the 5 day a year rule but often would pay a good worker for more. I worked for small companies who often did the same. Abuse and you will lose. Now I get paid as I work for myself.

  11. I just realized one factor for those of us who never wanted to take a sick day. I’m sure most of it is simply a commitment to your job, but there’s something else. There’s always been this myth that, if you work hard and do a good job, your contributions will be recognized and rewarded.

    I’ve come to realize that this is complete fiction. It’s not that nothing you do matters: it’s more the case that there is not a direct relationship between how much you do and how much you get rewarded. As a friend and coworker pointed out to me, if you volunteer to do an extra task at work, then that becomes your job. This is particularly true if you show that you’re handling things perfectly well.

    I don’t think it’s a diabolical plot to trick us into working harder, or to trick us into not taking days off. It’s just human nature: if they see me going about my work, and somebody else going about their work, they are not going to stop and see that I have twice as many programs to manage as they do. They’ll just think everything is working smoothly. By the same token, particularly if you’re new to the job, you don’t want to admit that you can’t handle things: you want to keep your job, after all.

    I’m sure that this fiction about being rewarded for going above and beyond the call of duty isn’t unique to my side of the pond.
    Last edited: 18 Jan 2019
    MypinchofItaly and rascal like this.
  12. oddduck

    oddduck Active Member

    If i don't go to work i don't get paid...never worked anywhere that offered sick days.
  13. rascal

    rascal Über Member

    In my industry you are on call, servicing machinery, you don't knock off at 5, you keep working til the jobs done. If you worked over the normal time I compensated. Say if a guy worked an extra 2 hrs to get a job done I'd say you've got a 100 to spend on your credit card. I never had any complaints. Staff stayed long periods. I think kiwis are quite generous as a rule.

  14. rascal

    rascal Über Member

    When I was about 21 the guy I worked for said to me, if you stay here for 10 years I'll shout you and your wife to Australia. He was true to his word. Loyalty is big here.

  15. Lullabelle

    Lullabelle Midlands, England

    Leicester UK
    I don't like to take sick days because I feel as though I am letting people down, however I will take them if really needed but I have never 'thrown a sickie', I am staff so I get paid. Part of my job is time and attendance, I look after everyone's hours and pass over all the reports at the end of the month for my boss to pay everyone, so I am well aware of the regulars, migraine-flue, yes they do spell it that way! Some are no doubt hangover related, others just can't be bothered, I wasn't raised like that.

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