It doesn’t pay to soldier on

Australian workplaces are currently facing a myriad of challenges and opportunities. Through our series of weekly Market Updates, APM’s Health & Wellbeing team will provide regular insights to help you address some of the most pertinent issues arising and keep your teams thriving.

Source: RACGP.

What does this mean?

We have all been urged to stay home if we become ill or show any symptoms of COVID-19.

It may sound simple, but our deeply embedded routines and societal norms can make staying home more complicated.

It’s likely you have seen presenteeism – attending work while sick – in action.

A 2011 study by Medibank and KPMG suggests it costs Australian businesses $34.1bn a year – more than three times the cost of absenteeism.

As Australians, we may be driven to ‘soldier on’ and go to work despite being sick, and many of us will still send a child to school or day care with a mild cough or sniffle. But in 2020 we’ve learned our jobs or our communities don’t benefit from a ‘soldier on’ mentality.

How to lead the way

Our employees need to know and see it is ok to stay home and manage their own health, or that of their dependant. Steps to achieve this include:

  1. Promote the stay home message regularly and clearly.
  2. Make working from home a normal part of business and make it easy for sick employees to stay home.
  3. Ensure leaders don’t come to work sick.
  4. Provide access to expert health advice. (The Health Direct online symptom checker is a useful tool).

Where to go for help and information