A Sick Day Is Not A Day Off

Being sick shouldn’t be viewed as being a luxury.


There is always guilt under capitalism. Guilt for not working hard enough. Guilt for not earning enough. Guilt for wanting more and knowing it is likely never to be achieved. We’re told to keep working and good things will happen but this is a lie – and it’s also ableist as hell.

Whether it’s employment, uni or volunteering, taking a day off can feel like it’s some sort of luxury. There’s a guilt to it as though feeling like shit is an absolutely awful thing to do and we should just push through with work. The guilt compounds for those with chronic illnesses, who may simply run out of spoons and when that happens consistently for any period of time, it feels like letting the world down.

“There’s a guilt to it as though feeling like shit is an absolutely awful thing to do and we should just push through with work.”

Employers, tutors and supervisors in general often add to the stress. Being ill for one day during a down period might be treated as okay but when the workload is high or it’s for multiple days watch them grit their teeth and hiss out that they need to see a GP note (and one which they will not be paying for).

Being sick, and being chronically ill especially, are not luxuries. Nor do they make someone a poorer worker (not that anyone should be defined by how productive they are). The way we constantly degrade people, and often work them so much they are ill just shows how little regard we actually have for each other under capitalism.

If someone needs a sick day, support them and even give them extra time off so they can fully recover and not rush themselves back to work. Capitalism always tries to make out its flexible but it really isn’t. You work, or you’re out and that’s it.

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