We recently wrote to your Facility Manager, Corrie, regarding a memo she sent to staff about sick leave. This is what Corrie said in her email:
“It is great news we have seen a reduction in staff calling in sick with painful backs but I am now a little surprised that we are seeing 1:3 staff calling in sick for gastro like symptoms. Although certainly not implying that this is not the case but with our level of infection control practice I would think this would flow over into your personal life. Given we have 1:3 staff with gastro I am surprised we don’t have a gastro outbreak in the facility and if numbers continue it may have to be reported to public health as a community concern.”
While Corrie stated that she wasn’t implying that staff members were faking illnesses or were to blame for taking leave, her email certainly came across that way.
We told Corrie that workers have said this is not the first time such memos have been sent out. One previous memo also implied that workers were pretending to have back issues to take sick leave.
We’ve made it clear to Corrie that sick leave is a workers’ entitlement that you’re entitled to use when you’re unwell or injured. Although workers understand it would be inconvenient when several staff members called in sick on the same day, it would be best if she could avoid implying that workers are not genuinely unwell and they shouldn’t exercise their workplace right to take sick leave when they need it.
Corrie has since responded, saying, “Your email is noted.”
We hope that this response means all future emails and memos will be worded in a way that respects you and your rights at work. If you ever feel that you’re being harassed for using your accrued personal leave, don’t hesitate to give HACSUassist a call.