(Australian Associated Press)
The tourism industry is hoping workers will take Friday off and enjoy a four-day long weekend – despite businesses worrying about hundreds of thousands of people taking sickies.
With the Australia Day public holiday falling on Thursday, the national Tourism and Transport Forum is encouraging Australians to take the next day off work for an extended break.
Chief executive Margy Osmond said the country’s workers had something like 134 million days in accrued leave up the sleeve, and it was time to take advantage.
“Businesses will benefit from workers with recharged batteries as they move into January and a big 2017,” she told reporters in Sydney on Monday.
But the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is concerned that workers will fake a sickie instead of applying for an annual leave day.
Chief executive James Pearson said the number of people taking sick leave on Friday could be 180,000 more than a typical workday, costing employers more than $62 million.
“Misusing sick leave erodes trust in the workplace, puts extra strain on colleagues doing the right thing and leaves people short of sick leave when they genuinely need it,” Mr Pearson said in a statement.