The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged companies to use Labor’s new workplace laws to address the problem of workers stockpiling annual leave.
Under Labor’s new National Employment Standards, companies will be allowed to add clauses to enterprise agreements or awards which give them the power to require employees to take paid annual leave if the requirement is reasonable.
Australian employees have stockpiled a combined 123 million days worth of leave worth an estimated $33.3 billion, Chamber CEO Peter Anderson said.
“The impetus provided by the new NES should provide a catalyst for an increasing number of employers to [respond to] chronic leave stockpiling,”Anderson said.
Australians take more sick days than their counterparts in other western economies, Anderson added.
“It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes or even Dr Watson to deduce that employees who take their annual leave are far less likely to take a ‘sickie’ due to fatigue or illness,” he said.