A confidential government report obtained by CBC News reveals federal workers have been booking off sick in record numbers, costing Canadian taxpayers more than $1 billion a year in lost wages alone.
The internal Treasury Board report indicates federal public servants are staying home an average of 18 working days a year, or almost a full month off the job.
That is about 2½ times the average rate of absenteeism in Canadian private industry, and almost twice the level of sick leave and disability claims in the rest of the public sector.
See clip and story here at Public Sector Sick Days cost $1 billion a year.
I think the numbers speak for themselves. People can argue this about work place “stress in the public sector” all they want, but this is nonsense. There is work place stress in every kind of work. No private employee has a job guarantee of any kind. And government employees are paid significantly more than their private sector equivalents in general and especially since over the past 4 years as private sector jobs have vanished, the public sector has continued to receive increased benefits as if they are somehow immune or above the reality of today’s tenuous global economy. I think that the public sector is in for a painful readjustment to reality period over the next few years as budget constraints demand smaller governments and less entitlements for public workers.
This level of absenteeism could simply not be tolerated in the private sector. Most small business do not have dozens of people to fill in for missing workers. Smaller teams are more accountable to each other, because if one member is missing it creates a tangible burden on co-workers left to pick up the slack. At the end of the day, in general, public servants take more sick days because they are allowed to. It is tolerated by the culture and mindset of working for a big, faceless institution. I see this lack of personal accountability as similar to the outrageous entitlements of many working in the c-suite of publicly traded corporations. They take too much, because they can. It is tolerated and bank-rolled by a body of public shareholders who are largely unknown and not present to witness day to day operations and behaviors.