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AK calls for protection against dismissal for sick employees

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That says Ludwig Dvorak, Head of Employment Law Advice and Legal Protection at AK Vienna. In addition, the AK is concerned with a legal regulation according to which time off in lieu cannot be consumed during sick leave (similar to vacation) and that working from home must not be misused to encourage employees to ill to work. The employee representatives see a particularly great need for action, which is underpinned by an online survey among employees in the hospitality industry and in retail.

Nine out of ten workers leave ill work. This is the result of the survey by AK Vienna. The most common reason ill going to work is not wanting to let your colleagues down (61 percent). “This means that so-called presenteeism for employees is the rule rather than the exception,” says Ines Stilling, Head of Social Affairs at AK Vienna. “Employees thus assume a high degree of responsibility in order not to endanger operations – a responsibility that actually lies with the company.”

Other reasons for working despite illness are, for example, that colleagues would hardly be able to do the work (43 percent) or appointments that cannot be postponed (32 percent). A lack of representation is also frequently cited (31 percent). One in four workers went to work for fear of losing their job.

According to a survey (sample: 6,506 people), which is not representative according to the AK, but provides a good overview, employers in the hotel and catering industry most frequently give notice on sick leave, followed by transport and traffic. Across all industries, almost half of those surveyed on sick leave were contacted by their boss – with most calls being made in the hotel and catering industry. Together with trade, this industry also shares the “top spot” when it comes to working despite illness (96 percent), followed by healthcare (94 percent).

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