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Absent from work on Friday 13th?


It is Friday 13th today. So what does this mean to you? How will this affect your business?


If you are not that superstitious, it may come as a surprise to you that according to the “Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute” in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by fear of this day.  It has been noted that some people can get so paralyzed by fear and cannot go about their daily lives. Some people cannot turn up for work; take flights or even get out of bed.  There are even estimates that in the US about $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day. Also, a British Medical Journal study has shown that there is a significant increase in traffic-related accidents on Friday 13th.


So how do you feel about Friday 13th? Perhaps you are one of those people who suffer with paraskevidekatriaphobia (fear of Friday 13th). In that case, you should know that an Absence Self-Certification Form could be used by an employee to provide details of any sickness absence to their employer. The Absence Self-certification Form incorporates a section for the purpose of stating whether the absence was related to a disability under the Disability Discrimination Act. This is in order to make it easier for the employer to distinguish between general absence/illness and disability related absence, and to avoid any unintentional discrimination that may otherwise occur.


The employer, on the other hand, may want to conduct a return to work interview to discuss an employee’s Friday 13th absence. A Return to Work Form is usually used during this interview.  You can check your company’s Sickness and Absence Policy to see whether it will conduct a to discuss absence and illness or not.

Fearing work on Friday 13th?


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