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Young Workers Centre YWC
When you're sick, you're sick!

Your boss can't force you to come into work if you are sick.

If you’re sick, you’re sick – it’s not up to your boss to decide whether you’re well enough to work or not! Your boss has a legal responsibility to provide a safe
workplace. Forcing someone to come to work when they are sick puts everyone at risk.

If you’re sick, you must:

  • Notify your boss as soon as possible
  • Produce a medical certificate if you’re taking more than two consecutive days and you want to access paid sick leave
  • Rest and recover!

Bosses can be sneaky – they might tell you that you can only take sick leave if you find someone else to cover your shift, or that you have to pay the wages of the
person who replaces you out of your pay. That’s not right.

You can:

  • Keep a diary recording the time and location of any incidents, who was involved, and any witnesses
  • Speak to someone you trust, such as your workplace Health & Safety representative, or a parent or friend
  • Contact the Young Workers Centre on 1800 714 754