SOCIAL Protection Minister Joan Burton has defended moves to force employers to pay for workers’ sick leave with the introduction of a pioneering new casual office dress-day campaign to limit sick days to a minimum.
The Minister will introduce the scheme to offset the financial damage to small and medium-sized companies caused by the new measures, which require employers to pay for the first four weeks of their employees’ sick leave rather than the system that was in place which saw a basic payment of €188 per week made to the absent employee by the state.
“Going to work dressed up like Tom Hanks in Cast Away is something that most office workers in their right mind would never want to miss” bellowed an impassioned Burton on Matt Cooper‘s Today FM show yesterday. “With the new Casual Friday Blowout scheme we feel we can stem some of the fiscal haemorraging caused by repeated and highly suspect sick leave and ‘bad-back’ shennanigans so common in this country”.
“Not to mention the huge percentage of people who are absent from work because they are attending made-up funerals. The average worker now requires 16 grandparents and over 40 beloved aunts to make their bullshit Monday morning excuses believable across a whole year”
“That’s unacceptable” added Burton.
The scheme, if rolled out in time for the next Budget, could save the Department for Social Protection up to €89 million a year.
Casual Friday Blowout will involve a total nationwide television, online and radio advertising campaign to promote each casual friday theme, with props and other sundry theme items to be provided at minimal cost and available from the post office.
“In this example” explained Burton on Cooper’s show “we have a Captain Caveman theme, with a big inflatable club redeemable at post offices nationwide for the preceeding week. This Friday theme is interchangable with the Flinstones but Flintstones theme props will NOT be for sale on such a wide scale owing to budgetary concerns”.
When pressed on the massive financial concerns that many business owners voiced over the change in legislation, Burton assured listeners to the show that a raft of humorous moustache and six-shooter cap gun days will be introduced by March 2013 “at the very, very latest”
“And Batman” she added.