What’s the obsession about rewarding people for perfect attendance/never taking any sick days? I recently received email at work reminding all employees that they will be awarded an extra personal day if they don’t use ANY of their sick time for an entire calendar year. I understand in a way that it’s nice to recognize people who make the effort to go to work or school every day. However, it seems like a very misguided concept. Sick days exist for a reason. There are several reasons this tradition should be abolished.
1 – Most people get sick at least once or twice a year, and going to work or school when ill just exposes everyone else to whatever virus or bacteria is causing the problem!
2 – People are not as happy or productive when they feel sick. This could cause negative feelings for everyone around them. Plus, most people are NOT happy when someone comes in, spreading germs everywhere.
3 – It’s not always safe for someone to drive to work if they’re sick and taking certain medications to deal with the symptoms. For example, quite a few cold medications cause drowsiness.
4 – It’s unfair to basically penalize people with chronic medical conditions. Some people simply don’t have the good fortune to be free of conditions that require medical treatments.
5 – Some people miss work or school for unavoidable reasons, such as an injury or serious illness, even if they usually enjoy good health.
6 – Some people miss work or school due to a death in the family. Although some work places don’t “count that against” their employees, I don’t remember ever hearing it as an exception to the “perfect attendance” rule for schools.
7 – I know I have to use sick time for appointments to see the doctor, dentist, or optometrist. Some of my medical providers don’t have evening or weekend hours, so I have to visit them during work hours. I’m sure that’s true for others. Also, it’s easier to get appointments during the regular work day because there are more appointments available then. Only scheduling during evenings or weekends (when that’s an option) usually requires waiting several weeks to be seen (I remember this happening to me when I didn’t have sick time when I started a new job). People should not be discouraged to delay or skip medical care in order to get a special reward!
What do you think? Is there any real justification for pushing people to have perfect attendance? Is it really worth it considering all of the drawbacks, such as the ones above?