There is an item in the Times today.
The article starts off – The cost of sick leave in the public sector is “unsustainable” and is costing the State about €430 million, internal Government documents show.
So they are claiming that the taxpayer is lumbered with a €430 million bill due to sick leave?
How does someone taking a 'sickie' cost the state [i.e. me] anything?
If a nurse or a teacher goes absent even for a week, it doesn't cost me a red cent. Their workload will possibly suffer and generally what happens is that co-workers will step into the breach and do a little extra, or the work will simply pile up until that person returns. Either way, it doesn't cost anyone anything except maybe a lot of frustration.
I suppose someone will put up an argument that extra staff would have to be hired to fill the breach, but that's a load of bollox. If Garda Rafferty takes a week off, are they seriously going to employ a temporary garda to work for a week? Maybe there is a case for having a standby roster of agency nurses to work in a large hospital but I refuse to believe that those agencies will charge nearly half a billion?
And what are they publishing these figures for? What do they hope to achieve? If my next door neighbour were a teacher and I know he has taken a Monday off because of a hangover, am I supposed to call around and beat the shite out of him because he is "costing the state"? If there is a lot of sick leave in a particular sector of employment, it's up to the supervisors or the management to find the cause and sort it out. It certainly has fuck all to do with me or even the gubmint.
If they want to talk about money being wasted, then I have a simple question.
How much does it cost the state [i.e. me] to employ all these people who spend their entire working lives sifting through figures to produce meaningless reports?
Now that is a real cost to the taxpayer.