Sick Leave: When and How You Should Use Sick Days in Dubai

Don’t be afraid of applying for sick leave, they are there for some reason and everyone knows it.

People in the UAE, more specifically in Dubai, are known for working long hours at the office. Studies show that it is relatively common for some employees in the private sector to work 14-hour shifts. Although working long hours may appear like an admirable trait, it can take a toll on several aspects.

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Psychiatrists say spending too much time at the office means time away from your family, children, friends, and other significant social relationships. Much like alcoholics, a workaholic won’t admit their work is an issue – that is, until something breaks. By the time they realize it, their support system has deteriorated, the marriage has fallen apart, kids seem distant, and so on.

The most significant effects of being a workaholic are that it targets your mind and body. Migraines, high blood pressure, and gastrointestinal issues are common among workaholics. Not getting enough quality rest can also affect your immune system, making you more prone to coming down with the cough, colds, the flu, and more.

Putting your workaholic tendencies aside, there are times when you need to think of your welfare over your work responsibilities. Here are a few situations wherein taking sick leave is critical.

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When to Call in Sick

When to Call in Sick

Sick days are there to bring you back to health. Not only that, but taking a day off or two also prevents passing your virus or sickness to other employees. When in doubt, check your motives against this list:

1. You have a Contagious Disease

Regardless of the amount of work you have piled up at the office, it does not compare to the effect you will have on your co-workers. Something as simple as the cough or flu, pink eye, or the stomach virus can spread like wildfire.

The office can continue to operate without you for a day or two. But spreading the disease can cause several people to take the day off at the same time. Coming to work while sick could potentially affect the productivity levels of your department, floor, or the entire company.

Unless the doctor has deemed you fit to work, it is best to stay at home. Stock up on food, medicines, and medical supplies to tide you through the next few days while you are recuperating.

As much as possible, try to keep your pantry and medicine cabinet stocked during the days you are strong and healthy. This way, you won’t have to ask where to buy diarrhoea medicine or get somebody to buy you food while you are sick.

2. High Body Temperature

Fevers are a sign of your body fighting an infection. It could also be a sign of infectious diseases, such as the flu. To be safe, stay at home or see a doctor to check if you need to take any medications.

Staying at home while nursing a fever, flu, cough, or the colds does not only protect your co-workers, but it is also a practical option. Working while you are sick affects your productivity levels and the quality of work that you do.

Make the most of your sick day by resting. You can make up for the lost time once you are already well.

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3. Bad Rashes

Not all rashes are contagious as they could be a result of a food allergy or bug bites. If you do decide to work, you could try letting your co-workers know that it is not contagious. But even then, your colleagues may not take your word for it and keep their distance.

Take antihistamines and apply anti-itch or skin-calming creams to reduce the itching. Avoid or at least try to control scratching your skin. Not only will this prevent your skin from turning redder or becoming more irritated, but doing so can help reduce the uneasiness your colleagues feel seeing your skin condition.

If you are unsure about the reasons for your rash, take the day off and see a doctor or skin specialist. This prevents any uncomfortable situations at the office while you are dealing with the rash.

4. Significant Aches or Body Pains

Imagine waking up Monday morning with your ankle severely swollen. Then you remembered that you were playing rugby with some of your friends at a sporting event in Abu Dhabi the day before. Should you still go to work?

Much like the flu, headaches, migraines, sprains, broken bones, muscle aches, and pains can impede and prevent you from doing your work effectively. In some cases, going to work even when you are feeling a lot of pain can make your condition worse. Instead of gritting your teeth at the office, go to a clinic and get yourself checked by a doctor – your body will thank you for it.

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5. Poor Mental Health

Tackling too many tasks simultaneously for long periods of time can lead to stress and burnout. As a result, you may feel stressed and overwhelmed and have difficulty focusing on what you are doing. Such feelings may even spill over and affect your relationships outside the office or with your family.

Your mind is just as important as any other part of your body. As such, it needs to rest. Take a day off if you feel you need to take a step back and do things that put your mind at ease.

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How to Apply for a Sick Leave

How to Apply for Sick Leave

Check the company policy when it comes to sick days. The requirements can vary from one company to another, or even between departments. For instance, some companies may require that you provide a doctor’s permit or medical proof the day you come back to work.

Applying for sick leave can get especially tricky when it comes to your mental health. Some companies may not even see it as a viable reason. Keep it brief as much as possible – in most cases, just saying you’re not well enough to come to work will suffice.

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Listen carefully to what your body and mind are telling you. Your body and mind are your greatest assets. Keeping them in tune and in good condition is critical to functioning at your optimal level at work and maintaining your relationships at home. Don’t be afraid of using sick leave as it will benefit everyone such as your employer, family and most importantly yourself.

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