Sick days: how many is too many?


For employees who are running out of annual leave, today is perhaps one of the best days of the year to call in sick. Thanks to the public holiday tomorrow, calling in sick today will get them four consecutive days off.

Recently, a netizen shared in an online post that he took four to six sick days a year and was told by his supervisor this would negatively impact his appraisal. The supervisor then provided him with a “golden standard” on how many sick days “good” and “bad” employees take a year.

Here are the details:

    • Zero to two days: The model employee


    • – Three to four days: Reasonable


    • – ys: Not ideal, but acceptable


    • – Nine to 12 days: The company has hired an employee with poor health


    • – 13 to 18 days: A repeat offender


    • – 19 to 30 days: They do not deserve an year-end bonus


    – More than 30 days: They are like thieves. They steal the credit of other employees who do show up to work every day.

Where do you stand in this golden standard of taking sick leave? Are you a model employee or a repeat offender?

According to a local study, one in ten employees in Hong Kong have abused their sick leave, so it is no surprise that there are irresponsible colleagues who try to dodge work.

A respondent to the post shared that his colleague was assigned one month of sick leave by the doctor, then took annual leave for two weeks to go on a vacation. After returning from holiday, he had to take sick leave again. It took him four months before he returned to work.

On the other side of the spectrum, there are unstoppable employees: one commenter said he had not taken a single sick day in 16 years.

This article was first published in Human Resources and is reproduced with permission. Original article can be found at

Sick Leave Tomorrow

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