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Do you take sick days?

Mekp

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
288
Do you take sick days? And, if so, how sick do you need to be to take a day?

My whole family was sick last week (not Covid). Fevers and vomiting and just feeling horrible.

I try not to take sick days and since I work from home I thought I could just take it easy at work for those days I felt the worst.

This morning I opened up my computer and have spent the morning fixing mistakes I made last week. Apparently I wasn't holding it together as well as I thought. Luckily, nothing high risk so no harm, no foul.

Do you feel guilty about calling in sick? Do you find you are productive and reliable if you work while sick?

I doubt I will change what I do in the future (I get so anxious calling in sick it's ridiculous), but I'm curious what others do.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Aug 14, 2009
Messages
21,760
Yes. Definitely.

For me - I know that if I’m sick, I’m not going to be nearly as productive as usual. So if I don’t just take the time off, I’m effectively knowingly billing my company for wasted time. I think some people work through illness better than others - and of course it depends on exactly what’s wrong...

I’m glad you’re feeling better this week! The whole family being sick all at once sounds miserable ;(
 
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dk168

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 7, 2013
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8,387
The longest I had been off was for a week when I had shingles in 2005. It would have been 2 weeks, however, as soon as my blisters turned into scabs, I flew out to Vancouver to help my mum and brother to organise my dad's funeral.

Apart from that, the other sick days I have taken since I started working in 1987 could probably be counted using both hands.

I worked for one company for 12 years, and every time I had to fill in a sick form, I found it had been updated requesting for additional information.

Heavy cold or full-blown flu, bad cases of food poisoning were the causes of staying at home and not go to work, only for a day at a time.

I remember being disappointed with breaking my 10y+ no sick record due to flu in 2018.

I have to be very ill to stay at home and not go to work.

DK :))
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Yes, when I was working if I was ill I would take off because I wouldn't want to get my patients or coworkers ill. I am considerate of others. When I had shingles I took off for as long as I was contagious.

If I worked from home and I felt capable of doing a good job I would work but if I didn't feel I could I would take off. Better to heal and recover to go on and be more productive than do not a great job when ill. It depends on the specific situation and how ill one is. No one size fits all.

Glad you are feeling better @Mekp.
 

seaurchin

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
1,838
I think stingy workplace policies are responsible for a lot of the trouble with sick days, whether they officially admit it or not. People often really don't have much of a choice.

Just one example, I recall when I had my baby and the nurse taking care of me had a two week old newborn of her own at home. She looked exhausted but told me she had to come back to work because her family liked to eat. :(
 
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Cozystitches

Brilliant_Rock
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Mar 2, 2010
Messages
1,224
:lol::lol::lol::lol: To take a sick day I have to: Make sure that I have sub plans that are so simple a 4 year old could follow them. The work needs to keep students occupied, and hopefully doing something while said 4 year old watches them.

Yeah...its easier to go to work sick.

Now with COVID. Not a chance would I go in sick. I could teach from home. Sigh. Sub plans suck and are worse than going to work sick. :(
 

Mekp

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
288
Yes. Definitely.

For me - I know that if I’m sick, I’m not going to be nearly as productive as usual. So if I don’t just take the time off, I’m effectively knowingly billing my company for wasted time. I think some people work through illness better than others - and of course it depends on exactly what’s wrong...

I’m glad you’re feeling better this week! The whole family being sick all at once sounds miserable ;(

Good point about billing the company for wasted time. I am probably not someone who works well sick. And yet I continue to try.

Yes, everyone being sick was not fun at all. Thankfully we are all better now.
 

Mekp

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
288
:lol::lol::lol::lol: To take a sick day I have to: Make sure that I have sub plans that are so simple a 4 year old could follow them. The work needs to keep students occupied, and hopefully doing something while said 4 year old watches them.

Yeah...its easier to go to work sick.

Now with COVID. Not a chance would I go in sick. I could teach from home. Sigh. Sub plans suck and are worse than going to work sick. :(

Yikes, that sounds horrible. Yes, choosing to work sick is sometimes easier than the alternative.
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 1, 2009
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9,471
Yes. I have known too many people who would be in serious danger if they got sick to be one of the people going and potentially spreading to others. I could never live with myself if someone got what I had and died because of it! (Editing to clarify that I mean flus, colds, etc and not COVID. Even "just" the other things are enough to kill people with health issues.)

Working from home is a whole different question that I haven't had to answer yet.
 

telephone89

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Aug 29, 2014
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3,897
Yes I do. I think it actually creates a hostile work environment when employers are suspicious when people call in sick. I know I've felt that I HAD to work because my manager would be upset, but honestly, contributing to other people getting sick and simultaneously not doing a great job is not worth it. I find it a really toxic attitude to want to work when sick actually. Then when someone else calls of sick, the people who "push through" can be quite negative towards others, and that breeds the whole "if they were more committed to their job theyd do it", "good employees give 110% always", "Shes probably just laying in bed painting her nails and not REALLY sick". IMO this starts at the top. Proper sick leave has actually shown people are happier with their job, more committed to the company, and willing to work just as hard if not harder for a company that actually cares about them.
 

marymm

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 21, 2010
Messages
4,504
I work from home now, as caregiver to my mom, and sick days aren't part of the package, but in the past when I worked in the legal field I always maximized and fully utilized my sick day/leave time.

In my view, sick time is (was) part of my salary package, and just like I wouldn't give back to the company 3/4 of my actual pay, I never wanted to leave sick time (which did not roll over) unused.

Relatedly, I did not appreciate obviously ill co-workers coming to work and spreading their germs.
 

Mekp

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
288
Yes I do. I think it actually creates a hostile work environment when employers are suspicious when people call in sick. I know I've felt that I HAD to work because my manager would be upset, but honestly, contributing to other people getting sick and simultaneously not doing a great job is not worth it. I find it a really toxic attitude to want to work when sick actually. Then when someone else calls of sick, the people who "push through" can be quite negative towards others, and that breeds the whole "if they were more committed to their job theyd do it", "good employees give 110% always", "Shes probably just laying in bed painting her nails and not REALLY sick". IMO this starts at the top. Proper sick leave has actually shown people are happier with their job, more committed to the company, and willing to work just as hard if not harder for a company that actually cares about them.

Good points.
I used to work in senior management and I'm definitely familiar with that toxic mindset. I agree with you that good employers trust staff to know whether or not they should work on a given day.
 

MeowMeow

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
1,425
I don't work at the moment because I am sahm right now. But when I was still working we pretty much had to come to work unless we were in the hospital or else it was a write up. 3 of those and you got fired. And if they couldn't get someone to come in for your shift or stay late they would refuse to let me leave early too. My retail job prior to that was slightly less rigid. But I feel like that might have been because I had better managers. So I had to get used to coming to work sick and hoping someone else could take my shift.
 
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jaysonsmom

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2004
Messages
3,799
I don’t remember the last time I took a sick day (knock on wood). It was probably 10+ years ago when my kids caught a stomach bug at school and I had to take “a sick day” to take care of them. I was not physically sick myself.

I have had couple days where I’ve gone to work with a mild migraine which grows progressively worse to the point of (seeing spots and room turns blue) then had to leave work after resting in my dark office for a couple hours.
 

Asscherhalo_lover

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
5,001
It depends. In non COVID times I RARELY took sick days. Honestly usually only for stomach issues as those just can't be "powered through". BUT it's also because I'm a teacher and we're basically penalized for taking them, even if we have them in our reserve. It's the first thing an admin will "use" if they want to punish you for whatever reason. Before COVID I had taken one sick day in two years.
 

kipari

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 9, 2015
Messages
2,872
I think stingy workplace policies are responsible for a lot of the trouble with sick days, whether they officially admit it or not. People often really don't have much of a choice.

Just one example, I recall when I had my baby and the nurse taking care of me had a two week old newborn of her own at home. She looked exhausted but told me she had to come back to work because her family liked to eat. :(

:shock:

This is cruel and mysoginistic and that's why it's illegal here in Europe. A 6 week paid break (2 weeks before the supposed date till 4 weeks after, if kid comes early the days are cumulated for afterwards) is mandatory. It's paid for by (mandatory) health insurance.

Sheesh also those management guys were born out of a woman's body one day.
And I'm no whimp , but the sheer though of going back to a physically demanding workplace lifting patients 14 days post partum is straight out of a medieval torture manual. Bring on the tena lady for mom 30 years later and the psychiatrist for baby with bonding problems.

Sorry but that is infuriating.
 

pearlsngems

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 4, 2010
Messages
1,495
I am retired, but when I was working, I used sick time if I was sick.

Neither my husband's nor my daughter's employers offer paid sick time. If my husband is sick, he has to use vacation days.

My daughter doesn't even get paid vacation days, so when she calls out sick she is simply not paid. Last week she lost the entire week's pay, as she had a GI bug but the employer insisted she get a COVID test (which was negative) and her Dr. insited she not return to work until today, just to be safe. So, that's a week's pay lost. She lives at home, but what if she needed that week's pay for rent?
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Messages
8,387
I really hate being ill, and hate taking sick days when I am part of a team, as it added burden and inconvenience to the others.

Not an issue nowadays as I am only working part time and from home.

DK :))
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
44,994
I think stingy workplace policies are responsible for a lot of the trouble with sick days, whether they officially admit it or not. People often really don't have much of a choice.

Just one example, I recall when I had my baby and the nurse taking care of me had a two week old newborn of her own at home. She looked exhausted but told me she had to come back to work because her family liked to eat. :(

I never got paid when I had to take a sick day. (Or vacation or health benefits etc). I do think for those who are employees they should be able to take sick days without fear of getting in trouble. So yeah that really sucks when one is made to feel they cannot take off when sick. Again I can only go by my actions and how I feel and while it sucked not getting paid I did what I felt was the right thing to do. I didn't want to be responsible getting others ill. That was my first priority. Do no harm.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
9,817
My last employer (of 14 years) was horrible about sick days
By law we get 5 days, after 2 days you have to produce a doctors not, less than that if the employer wants a doctors not they pay
It was often easy just to grin and bear it than be subjected to the interrogation of why one was sick

Both locations i worked in my work was frezzing, we all worked in the cold and rain and full of really cold drafts that made everyone get chills

Also i commuted by train - against the flow so a lot less people but still residual germs

It sux feeling sick and jumping on a train for an hour
I briefly had a manager who also commuted and was more (only slightly) understanding

once when i was really sick with some random virus i had to get off the train for a chuck because i suddenly felt so unwell and then another one at the station where i worked
I arrived at work covered in spew and crying so they let me go home
I worked in a small country village at the end of the Wellington commuter line
The guard on the train told me some passengers had kindly asked after me
I was often the only one on the train by the time it got to Waikanae in my red work uniform so lots of people knew me by site

anyway the store's bonus system depended on not using sick days
it was total bullsh*t
So is paying $60 to $80 for a doctor's note to be told to drink lots of fluids and take Panadol

I do wonder how that firm reacted to the government's covid era guidelines of if your even a little bit sick stay home

its really hard having a more physical type job and being sick, let alone dealing with joe public when your sick so i would imangine it would be different but equally horrible having a more office type job being sick
Ive also read with people working from home they do way more hours anyway

If your sick you are sick
make a hot lemon drink and go back to bed or sit quietly in the sun with a blanket
 
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GoldenTouch

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 9, 2018
Messages
200
I take them only if I am really, really sick or have something contagious - eg: gastro.

I did have time off last year due to waiting on Covid19 test results. Both times I only had a sore throat & sinus, and normally I would of worked through that - but rules are rules.

My sick leave accumulates each year & I believe you never know what is around the corner. I would like it to be there if something serious happens.

I am also a single mum and if my child needed a day off it comes out of the sick pay as carers. I have no hesitation using it for her.

I work at a school and some parents send their children to school very ill - even if they threw up that morning. They don’t seem to care about the other children or staff.
 

maryjane04

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 21, 2013
Messages
860
I used to take them when I was really sick, but working in health I think we are more careful than ever.

I only time I took a lot of time off was when I came back from Europe and had the flu.. probably on and off for 3 months. I tried going back to work a few times in between but in hindsight I think that made it worse and prolonged my recovery time.

I have noticed though a general observation is that the younger people in Australia/where I work tend to use up their sick leave as they accrue it. I have a few weeks of sick leave saved up.

Anyway at our work, sometimes people get really sick (think cancer or something) where they have to take long periods of time off work and they don't have enough sick leave and are also the primary breadwinner for their household. What we do is donate our sick leave to that person so they are able to take time off without worrying about their finances. But in order to do this you would have to have at least 400 sick leave hours (or equivalent to like 10 weeks) saved up. Most young people wouldn't have this much sick leave saved up so yeah.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 17, 2008
Messages
7,899
I hate taking off days. Last time I had a real vacation was 2015. I took a few days off work last year as vacation and mental health days to clean my house (it was kinda necessary) I've taken few hours off when I had migraines because lets face it, can't work with one, and because I use MM to keep them from making me too ill, I can't work stoned either :lol:.

I don't take time off for colds, though I did take time off when I got the flu....it was pretty necessary as I slept for near 2 days straight.

I don't feel guilty for taking time off, but I'm a workaholic and just stupidly love working. I don't work with the public, but when I worked in DC full time, I worked through a lot of really heinous stuff because of the environment you find yourself working in. It wasn't a good look to take time off for sniffles, though with Covid, that is changing!
 

Elizabeth35

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 24, 2011
Messages
599
I am guessing you are perhaps in the US?
It is a very American thing to not take sick days, or vacation days for fear of being replaced.
When I worked in corporate tech job it was a point of pride to come in to work sick, coughing and hacking germs everywhere. It made people feel important and irreplaceable. As if they were so very important that things would shut down if they were gone for a few days or weeks. And NOBODY ever took more than one week off---ever. It was normal to basically be available via email 24/7, and not uncommon to get up at 2-3AM to do conference calls in different time zones. It was an expectation.
But the bigger worry, at least in US, is that if you are gone for a week--the company will realize that they can function without you and lay you off.
Our sick days (5 per year) carried over and when you left the company you would get your pay for the sick days that were unused. So people saved them up for a financial cushion in the event of termination.

But to answer your question--I would use 1-2 sick days per year. Primarily for personal use as I rarely got ill. Once for a day that I had minor surgery.
But if I were to get really ill, and contagious, I would have taken sick days or worked from home.
 

diamondringlover

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 12, 2006
Messages
3,977
I seldom take sick days, I been working at home for almost 12 years and I gotta be pretty darn sick to call in...the last time it happened I had some how managed to hurt my foot and they had me on some pretty good pain killers but I was only off for 1 day
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Apr 19, 2004
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21,837
HI:

I work in healthcare but it doesn't matter. IMHO, There is NO benefit to going to work, ill, and infecting others (colleagues, patients). Luckily I am rarely sick. Mega hand washer here. When I worked FT I accrued a lot of sick time that I never used.

FWIW, the only time my DH got a common cold was when someone in his office kindly shared their gems with him. I could never understand people going to work when ill because they all have sick leave!!!

cheers--Sharon
 

foxinsox

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 18, 2015
Messages
3,422
Yes if I'm sick or feel like I'm coming down with something, I take a sick day. Usually the start of a cold or similar is heralded by headache/inability to focus or feeling pretty out of it so I'm not doing good work anyway if I try to push through.
The one time I didn't adhere to that rule recently, I was about to take a 5 day long weekend so pushed through the start of a terrible head cold to finish my prep. I then spent my long weekend too sick to enjoy the annual leave I'd booked!! So I won't do that again.
I also encourage my team to take sick days and thankfully our employer is very active about telling people to stay home or work from home if ill and to never bring their germs into the office.
One good side effect of covid is that attitudes to coming to work sick are changing. My husband is a carpenter and his workmates view sick leave as something to avoid so they turn up regardless of how sick they are! Makes me so mad if he catches something from them cos then he's sick and miserable because they're careless.
 

Dandi

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 9, 2006
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5,889
Absolutely. I'm an RN, so going to work even a bit under the weather can impact my ability to do my job properly, not to mention the risk of making my patients and colleagues unwell. That said, I feel super guilty every time I call in sick!
 

Ionysis

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 1, 2015
Messages
475
Sick leave is there for sick people. People who are ACTUALLY unwell to the point where their ability to do their job is compromised or they may infect others. It’s absolutely not a “benefit” which you should take full advantage of and make sure you use up all your “allowance” each year. To my mind that mindset is totally wrong, and if I had staff with that attitude I would make damn sure it was reflected in their appraisal, performance related pay and taken into consideration when determining promotion prospects!

I take sick leave when I genuinely need to. I don’t make sure I “use it all up” every year because I’m not an a***. I DO make sure I use up all or most of my annual leave because that IS a benefit and in my company vacation days are there to ensure employees don’t burn out, are properly rested and less likely to encounter mental or physical health issues. And we can’t carry over more than ten days a year.

BUT it’s easy for me to say all the above because in my part of the world almost everyone gets 30 days annual leave. If I worked in the US where ten days leave was the norm you bet I’d be using more sick leave because frankly, that’s insane. Adequate annual leave prevents staff from having to utilise “sick” days and makes it less likely they will actually get sick.

The thing they do badly here (although it’s better than it was) is maternity leave. I got six weeks leave when I had my babies. No more. And with my second I was back at work four weeks after my c section because I was afraid I’d lose my job. That was incredibly hard for both me and my 13 month old and newborn daughters. Would not recommend. Votes for Europe all the way when it comes to sensible vacation leave and maternity leave regulations.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
9,817
Working with the public you get every cold and fly going
Every winter it would go through work

i ended up with gladulour fevor years ago from going to work when i was really sick
i think if i had just called in sick that weekend i would not have ended up in bed for two weeks

Gary and I have not had a single cold, bug or flu in the two years i havn't been working
 
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