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Why Do So Many Canadians Fake Sick Time?

Published: October 3, 2016

Faking sick time has been a problem for employers for quite some time and many of them are resorting to monitoring their employee’s absences by absence management software and other employee management software. Most employees complain that they fake sick time off because they feel burned out or too stressed out from the pressure at work. Work reliance measures should be immediately put into effect to help employees believe that they have the support and care from their employers.

This, however, is not a new issue. A 2013 research by the Angus Reid, stated that 54% Canadians admitted to taking sick time off from work when they didn’t need it. More than 65% of these people admitted that they took fake time off from work because they were feeling stressed while the remaining 35% stated that they took time off because they wanted to take care of a sick child. The additional 13% did so due to being overworked and 12% stated that they resorted to these extreme measures as they didn’t have enough vacation time or paid time off.

Most human resource managers need to learn to predict employee behavior from past researches. They need to update their outdated employee management and absence management system and also provide remote working services to employees by investing in a modern and innovative time and attendance management software that has the ability to monitor an employee remotely and store their performance in a cloud server.

A recent report by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute stated that the public servants are “Gaming the System” and taking twice as much time off as the private sector employees. The reason has been attributed to the work culture, motivations, environment and the lax rules that enable them to do so. Phillip Cross, Statistics Canada’s former chief economic analyst, said that that such a system and mindset is due to the cultural practices and attributes of the government rather than their biology. According to a 2013 report by the Conference Board of Canada called Disability Management: Opportunities for Employer Action, more than 40% Canadian workers, both old and new, are covered by their employers for sickness and disability leave.

This means that in an event of sickness, when they need time off, they can’t have it. Only 41% over the age of 65 have long-term disability coverage and less than half have short-term disability leave or paid sick days. In the end, it is not so much about the public or the private sector. It is all about forming predictive countermeasures to prevent employees from ruling the system and using it for their benefit rather than following the rules and procedures. The aided and abetted nature of entitlement needs to be abolished and time and attendance management is the way to go.

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