Thursday, June 28, 2012

ZenTiger Unlimited Growth, Unlimited Wages

'Capitalism is premised upon unlimited growth.'

That idea is nothing, as compared to the fruits of socialism:
BRUSSELS — For most Europeans, almost nothing is more prized than their four to six weeks of guaranteed annual vacation leave. But it was not clear just how sacrosanct that time off was until Thursday, when Europe’s highest court ruled that workers who happened to get sick on vacation were legally entitled to take another vacation.
Contra Celsum discusses this from another perspective: The Worker Has Rights

9 comment(s):

Sb said...

No this is not being reported correctly.(What a surprise!)

For a start its nothing new, when I joined the workforce over 40 years ago I remember being instructed that sick leave is to be booked as sick leave and annual leave is to be booked as annual leave, never book one as the other.

It was explained to me at that it has to do with risk profiles for industrial insurance cover.

When setting a risk profile for a insurance policy the insurance company will want all sorts of stats from the company. Stats like are you workers taking all their leave, are you buying them out of leave and if so how much. How many sick leave days are being taken how many accidents are occurring and what sort of accidents and how long does recovery take and a whole pile of other stats.

This requires accurate reporting.
The workers are not getting more leave, if they are sick they are on sick leave not annual leave.

False reporting was a reason for rejecting claims.

Its quite easy for HR to see if people are abusing this system.

And thinking this will help with the recession is just stupid, the number of days taken like this in companies is about 2% of total leave days booked so changing it is not going to make a bit of difference.

So its not new and its unimportant.


ZenTiger said...

I see your point, which seems to say "if you are sick, even on holiday, cancel your holiday and revert it to sick leave"

That still seems quite cheeky, as I've been sick over the weekend and shown up for work Monday, not having to report sickness to adjust any insurance statistics - which would patently be silly.

Also somewhat difficult is for someone to book holidays and claim later they were sick on one or two of those days.

Sounds like the kind of loophole that is waiting to be exploited once people find out it is exploitable, and then it wont be easy to detect.

Jeremy Harris said...

I'm always amazed people like SB can observe the absurd and describe it as rational. If you are off work and on leave, whether it be a weekend, annual or public leave, and you suffer a day of sickness too bad, you were already off.

It's like robbing a bank with a partner, getting out the front door and turning to your partner and saying, "Now give me everything you've got!"

Marian said...

The Question is.

How come some people seem to get sick on holiday leave anyway.

I thought you got sick of work and the holiday was the cure. :-)

Yeah I know.

It can happen. Seen it myself and been there.

You've been feeling fine and soon as the weekend or during your holiday leave comes up. You come down with a bad cold or flu, etc. Ruining your weekend or part of your holidays.

I don't think sick leave should be part of holiday entitlements though.

If that was the case my brother could claim many of his weekends as sickleave then. Since he often has to spend one of those days in bed feeling rundown. He's got low blood pressure problems. The problem appears to get worse on the weekends more so, than during his working week.

Sb said...

ZenT and Jeremy

You have missed an important point. At the weekend you are on your own time. When you are on annual leave you are on "paid leave from the company". When you are sick you are on "paid sick leave from your company".

Legally its different type of leave. You are not paid on your own time you are paid on company leave.

It may feel like you are on your own time when you are on leave but you are not.

Clearly neither of you has had any experience drawing up employment contracts as I have.

Another example, when attending a training course before you set off you phone a company number and report you are leaving, when you arrive home you phone the same number and report you are home. Why because then your travel to and from the course is covered by company insurance because you are on company time. Hence the insurance covers you if you have a accident or something like that.

Some people do of course try and game the system but that's why you have HR people for. They are really good at people gaming things. Then its up to HR and management to manage the problem. Usually people who do this are very obvious.

Mirian: In your example the answer is not to screw the system for everybody else its for the company and medical professions to manage the problem with the worker who is having issues'

ZenTiger said...

Hi SB, I see you point and have got it I think.

I'm simply saying that it seems to diverge from what is "current practice" in the sense that people who take a block of 4 weeks leave, if they felt sick on one of those days, would (I assume) not dream of claiming sick leave.

The fact that they are now legally entitled to do so, once more widely advertised, I would expect many people will "game the system" - where gaming the system means claiming sick leave when sick on holiday - which you would actually define as not gaming the system.

In terms of drawing up employment contracts - employers very good at doing this might actually require other things like notice of sickness on the day, not at the end of holidays etc and thus people in practice, might find it hard to report the day sick if they happen to be in Fiji, and the postcard service is slow.

Sb said...


Good point I forgot to mention that the rule was that when you did not convert annual leave to sick leave there was 2 day buffer i.e. two days sick no note from the doctor required but if you did convert annual to sick you needed a note from the doctor for everyday you converted no buffer. Just one day converted you still needed a doctors note for that day.

Though it might seem many people would game the system in practice I have found very few people do, most used the system honestly.

Lucia Maria said...


I think the type of people that get sick on weekends and holidays are the types that run on adrenalin during the working week, rather than pacing themselves. Then they crash and burn.

My opinion on this whole translate annual leave into sick pay is meh. The types that will game the system will be those that use sick leave as annual leave. The crash and burn types would never think of it.

ZenTiger said...

Yes, unfortunately I fall into the crash and burn group. There was a time I was constantly pushing myself excessively hard to cope with unreasonable work loads, and spend the weekend recovering - sometimes sick and gathering myself to start again on the Monday.

The thought of calling in sick on a holiday period is just totally alien to me, thus the post.

However, given my posts don't necessarily come with a rating scale of how important the issue is to me, it would have a score of 1 out of 10. High novelty value though.

If you had 6 weeks annual leave, 2 weeks sick leave, another 8 days (perhaps) of public holidays, take away staff functions and meetings, checking email and doing admin that leaves about 32 hours a year of actual work. No wonder there is so much pressure to work beyond the standard office hours :)

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