Sick? You Bet We Are

Did you know that 83 per cent of the time we employees are out sick is due to “feigned illness or malingering”?

That’s what the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises association says. ISME’s press releases in January alone have attacked Government inaction, demanded Public Sector pay cuts, and said that any talk of an increase in the minimum wage was “outlandish, provocative and unrealistic”, and that Unions had lost touch with reality.



Anyway, their survey of 750 companies said that employees miss an average of 6 days each per year, and that five of these are, as stated above, due to “feigned illness or malingering”. Chief Executive Mark Fielding then attacked the medical profession, saying that they had an “ATM mentality” when is came to issuing sick notes, and that these were often issued “like snuff at a wake, without any genuine intervention or advice”. (Do people still have wakes? Do they still hand out snuff at them? Should clichés not have a sell-by date?)

Poor ISME. The government is crap, the public sector is overpaid, we employees are lazy and our doctors are cheats. It’s a wonder these fine people can run businesses in Ireland at all.

And the five days out of six? Well, guess what. The survey says they are due to feigned illness or malingering in the companies’ opinion. No proof, no analysis, just a hunch.

Based on what? Based on some outdated Punch-cartoon stereotype that the Irish are drunken feckless wasters?

Typical staff member

Typical staff member

Work in our office over the last month (for a company which thankfully wouldn’t use an ISME membership card to wipe its corporate arse) has taken place to the cheery accompaniment of background music of coughing and sneezing, as people who are sick do what most workers do, which is to go to work regardless.

The employees of this country deserve better than to have shite spouted about them being malingerers based on no evidence whatsoever.

I’m sure there is a press release crying out to be written about injuries at work in Small and Medium enterprises, or about work-related stress caused by pressure on staff during the boom times, or about anxiety and depression caused by being suddenly let go now.

Just don’t expect ISME to be the ones to release it.

4 thoughts on “Sick? You Bet We Are

  1. Holemaster

    I always wonder who the ISME represents. I’m an owner of an SME and I employ about five people. I have never been approached by them for membership or for my opinion on anything. And I no have interest in them either. They always sound like they are fighting a constant battle with employees as if they are the scourge of business. I was a employee for almost 15 years and have been an employer for 6. The people who work with me are better than I ever was as an employee and they hardly ever so sick and when they do it’s genuine. I think that is the case in most companies if they treat their staff with respect and pay them properly.

  2. Pingback: Gallows Humour « Worth Doing Badly

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