As a full-time employee I am qualified to join a Group RRSP, a way for my employer to give free money for my retirement fund while I also contribute (thought not equally) each payday.
I am also eligible to use a sick day (or sick leave).
It means that I can get paid although I cannot come to work because of an illness (eg: fever, stomachache).
It’s a straightforward cause and effect in health and finance. However, something more important needs to be told about sick day.
Is it a Waste Not to Use a Sick Day?
I am fond of listening to my co-workers especially those who are ahead of me because I can glean nuggets of wisdom.
This week the topic is what’s the best time to use a sick day.
This discussion came up because of the rampant use of sick days in a somewhat planned way. Staff would extend a two-day off by using a sick day. The practice has become a trend and noticeable that there was a scoreboard.
It’s easy to see who is leading. I saw it as a wall of shame.
Why would anyone claim to be sick to attend an outing or concert?
It’s tempting, right? But it simply happens because why wouldn’t anyone use it when you can get away with it.
A day of not working with pay is like a vacation. Who doesn’t want that.
The Best Time to Use a Sick Day
In our department, some are not using sick day not because they are tough as steel.
They still work even if they are not feeling a bit well because they can fulfill their duties without posting harm to themselves and others.
Use your sick day only when necessary. This is the best time to use a sick day. It’s an advice from my co-worker that I am grateful to know early on.
Every year a number of unused sick days is accumulated.
When a time comes that a long-term of absence due to sickness is necessary, then a staff can use sick days and still get a salary. A leave of absence may extend from days to weeks to months.
What happens when an employee has used all the sick days?
In Alberta, a person can get treatment in a hospital for free. It’s up to the person on how to pay for monthly bills without a salary while on leave.
This is the time to use an emergency fund if there’s one to pay for bills. Or liquidate an investment from a TFSA. (As much as possible don’t use a retirement fund such as RRSP.)
Focusing on a Healthy Lifestyle
I don’t want to use a sick day but I will if I have to. If I have to choose, I rather be fit and work than be ill and stay at home and still get paid.
Time is my greatest asset and so is my health.
I want to be healthy (all the time if a goddess of possibility can grant my wish) so I intentionally choose the food I buy and eat.
Being a vegetarian is easier than I thought years ago. It’s about choosing real food (mostly raw) and not that comes in packaging like canned foods, chips, and instant noodles.
The reward of eating healthy is priceless.
So I’ll remind myself to stop complaining why I should eat bananas right away; otherwise, I have to use it in making banana bread which is more time consuming.
Listen to your colleagues at work. They have knowledge that comes from experience.
There’s nothing wrong in spending time at home to get well. But it’s unethical to abuse a benefit. You’ll never know when sick day will benefit you the most.
Remember the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf whenever temptation is lurking.
What other employee benefits you think people should be aware of?