As happens with any ill-placed public holiday, business owners will need to brace for a massive shortfall in staff numbers this Friday, 27 January.
According to HotelsCombined, more than a third (35 per cent) of Australian workers have planned a long weekend escape for Australia Day, despite the public holiday falling on a Thursday this year.
Of these, the majority (29 per cent) are taking annual leave to make up the four-day break, but employers will need to brace for an even greater number of empty desks, with a further 6 per cent of workers admitting that they plan to 'chuck a sickie' to join the holiday with the weekend.
HotelsCombined says the 2017 forecast is slightly larger than the corresponding period a year earlier, when only 30 per cent of workers enjoyed a long weekend through to Tuesday, 26 January.
“I think there are a few reasons why many of us might take Friday the 27th off work,” says Chris Rivett, head of marketing Australia and New Zealand at HotelsCombined.
“Firstly, we only get a handful of public holidays a year and it’s an opportunity to actually go away for a good break. Secondly, being in between a weekend and public holiday, Friday is likely to be a relatively easy work day.
“Also with school starting back again on the following Monday, it makes sense that many will extend their holidays by one additional day this year.”