Do you use all your sick days?

posted 4 months ago in Career
Post # 16
643 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2020 - Clarksville, VA

My current company gives us three sick days a year. If we don’t use them they get cashed out at the end of the year with an extra day thrown in as a reward. I save mine for that. 

Post # 17
9136 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: Dorset, UK

As a migraine sufferer (who is currently pregnant and can’t take any proper medication and has been in a whole world of pain) I would say I don’t even understand how this is question, you have sick days, you are sick, use a sick day and get better. 

Post # 18
631 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I get 10 days a year, which is now sounding like a ton compared to some places… before my first pregnancy I probably used 2-3 a year. With my first pregnancy and a million appointments/extra monitoring I used almost all of them from January to June haha. I definitely need more now that my son is in childcare. I get the guilt. Try not to, they give you the days for a reason, use them if you need them. 

Post # 19
587 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2020 - Summer Camp!

View original reply
skunktastic :  First year school employee here. I feel unprofessional if I’m uncontrollably runny and go to an IEP meeting. Would you take off on days like those? I feel guilty, but I’m a mess right now. In the meantime, I’m stocking up on multivitamins and disinfectant wipes. 

Post # 20
2319 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

Man, this thread makes me feel like some kind of reprobate. 

I work a 4 10’s schedule with Wednesday off, so I never work more than 2 days in a row. I also work from home, so if I don’t feel great, it’s usually possible for me take a break and lie down if I need to. I realize I have an excellent quality of life at my job, and I am very grateful for it.

When it’s necessary to push through. If I have a project or a deadline – something time sensitive – I will work however long it takes to get things done.

But, I use aaaaaaaaaall of my PTO and EIT (Extended Illness Time) often as it accrues. I work for a non-profit, so make a considerably lower wage on average than my for-profit sector counterparts. To me, my PTO/EIT are benefits that compensate me for being paid less. I also have a chronic health condition which is covered by an intermittent leave of absence, so I don’t rack up “occurrences” (unplanned time off) when I call out. Policy is that you can only have 5 occurrences a year without side eye, 6 you have a review with your supervisor, and more than 7 is terminable. 

It’s rare for me to have a month where I haven’t taken at least one extra day off. I’m fortunate enough to work in an environment where my absence rarely impacts anyone but me (I work in a very independent project driven group) and have a supervisor who is very supportive of self care and mental health holidays. I do often make up time outside of office hours, though; so some of that time “off” is really just time shifted.

I used to get hemiplegic migraines, where I’d go numb all down one side. They were terrifying, in addition to being miserable, because I stopped being able to use 1/2 my body. In my case, working in that condition would be impossible. But I think the idea that you should “push through” is a uniquely American perspective. Taking care of yourself is not indulgent; it’s necessary. Calling out when you are genuinely sick is not lazy; it’s protecting yourself and your resources. 

Take the day.

Post # 21
1351 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

I get 15 days per year (accumulating at 10 hours/month), and I like to bank my sick time as much as possible. I can take it in half-hour increments, so I usually end up using about  3 to 4 full days per year. I’ll be going on FMLA after baby is born next year, which is unpaid, so I’m trying to save up as much of my sick time as possible to use while I’m out.

That being said, my employer is very supportive of us using our sick time as needed, whether it’s for illness, appointments, or a mental health day, no questions asked.

Post # 22
3454 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

I don’t make a point of using them even if I don’t need them, but I do end up using up my sick days most years because I also suffer migraines and for some reason I seem to pick up EVERYTHING that goes around…

Doesn’t help that there always seems to be a handful of people at work who are sick and don’t just stay the F home, which I really don’t understand since our organization is super good about sick days in general. Our official policy is that you need a Drs note for illness related absenses longer than three consecutive days, but it’s up to the individual directors’ discretion and most of them don’t enforce it at all unless it’s someone who has a few blotches in their history. 

Post # 23
8751 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
fourthnoel :  ours is one PTO bucket and I use it. That’s what it’s for! Sometimes I roll a few days over but I’d much rather take the time than get it paid out. At my old job it was use or lose and I always used it all – they didn’t pay me enough to give them back benefits I was entitled to. 

Post # 24
7395 posts
Busy Beekeeper

Are you in the US? I feel like the work culture is soo different there. It’s so incredibly sad to me that people feel the need to work themselves to the bone or else will look lazy. 

It’s your time! USE IT. We encourage all our associates to take every single last day of their vacation and extra time. Take a mental health day. Use it for a doctors appointment. Use it when your kids are sick. It’s built into your compensation anyways. Think of it like you get an extra $1k from your work as part of your compensation plan, or you can just leave it on the table. No one would leave the cash on the table, but PTO is just as valuable. 

Post # 25
770 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2020

I am a big advocate for using sick days if you’re sick! That’s what they’re for and you shouldn’t feel guilty for still being under your yearly allowance! Personally I use a few a year, though more if you count appointments (in which we can use our sick days to take off the whole day–I admit I love doing this).

We plan on TTC in a couple years, so I am going to start banking them as our cap is huge and who knows if I’ll have a rough pregnancy and need more days then!

Post # 26
1561 posts
Bumble bee

We are too indoctrinated into the Calvinist ideals of deprivation to not feel guilty for self-care.

Post # 27
9379 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

currently i earn 4 hours of sick leave and 6 hours of annual leave per pay.  i use as needed.  we can carry over unlimited sick leave.  annual leave, we are allowed to carry over a max of 240 hours. any excess becomes use or lose.


if you exhaust your leave and have a qualifying reason, you can apply to the voluntary leave transfer program where others can donate their leave to you.

people use this for maternity leave, recovering from sugery, taking care of a spouse or child, etc. 



Post # 28
8937 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I don’t use all mine. I’m relatively healthy and thankful for it. I also enjoy my job and feel well compensated, so it doesn’t feel like I’m ripping myself off if I leave a few days on the table. When I need them, I take them and none of my bosses here have ever questioned it or made me feel bad about it. On the contrary, they encourage us to take care of ourselves and our families first. I did take more in the past when my kids were young and got sick often. I also made more of a point to use them when I worked for places where I was not fairly compensated (which not coincidentally was also when I tended to need some mental health days).

Post # 29
571 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

I get one full sick day per month.  At the end of the year, any use/lose vacation time (we can bank so much depending on years of service) that was not taken is converted to sick leave.  I am all in favor of taking a sick day if you are sick.  As a supervisor, I never want people to prioritize work over their own health.  It isn’t lazy.  Taking care of yourself in a timely manner prevents you getting so run down that you miss multiple days later.

I hope you feel better soon.

Post # 30
119 posts
Blushing bee

I end up using them all from being burnt out a lot. We get 8 hours sick time per month. We can call in sick 3 times per quarter year. If you go beyond that they wil give you a warning first, then write you up. Doesn’t matter if you have a sick note or are in the hospital, they will write you up. That’s why most people use fmla. We don’t get the day off for holidays and are still scheduled to work since it’s a 24 hour hospital. We are working when most people are at home enjoying their holidays with family. Hence the burn out.

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