Australia day hangover tab $60m

by 27 Jan 2012

If you came into work this morning greeted by a flood of emails and voice messages from employees taking a long weekend, you’re among friends – some 171,000 people will be off work today as the national absenteeism rate shoots from a normal 3.5% to 5%.

The hefty tab rung up by Australians taking part in the national holiday is expected to total $65m in lost productivity and absenteeism today. However, most organisations will hardly be surprised given Australia is currently ranked 4th in the world in annual consumption of beer per capita – approximately 9m people indulged in a tipple yesterday.

Absenteeism expert Paul Dundon from Direct Health Solutions said call centres and the travel and manufacturing industries would be hardest hit by the national hangover.

Teachers Credit Union senior HR manager Marco Sicurella said although he hasn’t noticed an increase in ‘sickies’ today, public holidays that fall mid-week should be moved to the Friday or Monday. “Productivity levels are so low on days like today; it’s a ghost town in here!”


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