Taking Sick Days

woman in gray crew neck t-shirt holding iphone
Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on November 29, 2021 and last updated on July 22, 2023

The topic of Taking Sick Days holds practical importance for English learners, as it equips them with essential workplace language skills and cultural understanding. Engaging in discussions about sick leave policies, communicating illnesses to supervisors and expressing health concerns fosters vocabulary development and enhances fluency in professional contexts.

By exploring this topic, English learners can effectively communicate their health needs and be better prepared to balance work commitments with personal well-being in English-speaking environments.

Go through the vocabulary below with your students and ask them to try and use this vocabaulry where possible when discussing the different conversation questions.

About Taking Sick Days

Taking sick days, an essential aspect of employee well-being, ensures both individual health and workplace productivity. This topic explores the significance of recognising and respecting one’s physical and mental limits when illness strikes.

From understanding company policies to communicating effectively with supervisors, taking sick days responsibly promotes a positive work environment. By prioritising self-care and rest, employees can recover faster and return to work with increased efficiency.

Useful Vocabulary

Try and use the following vocabulary when answering the question. Click to look up the definition in the dictionary

  • benefit (verb)
  • entitle (verb)
  • government (noun)
  • responsibility (noun)
  • responsible (adjective)
  • the law (noun)

Conversation Questions

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  • Should companies have to pay employees who are off work sick?
  • When was the last time you were off sick from work? Did you still get paid?
  • Who pays you if you are off sick from work?
  • Do you think the government should be responsible for paying people who are sick and can't work?
  • Do you think it's essential for employers to offer paid sick days to their employees?
  • Should a company be able to fire someone who is off work sick a lot?
  • How do you handle the dilemma of deciding whether to take a sick day or go to work when you're feeling unwell?
  • Should employees be required to provide a doctor's note for every sick day they take?
  • Should employees be allowed to use sick days for taking care of sick family members or should there be separate leave policies for this purpose?
  • In your culture, is it common for employees to take mental health days when feeling stressed or overwhelmed?
  • How can remote work and telecommuting impact the way sick days are taken and communicated?
  • Should employers offer paid sick leave to part-time employees or only to full-time staff?
  • What are the potential consequences of employees abusing sick leave policies, and how can employers address this issue?
  • Should employers provide additional incentives or rewards for employees who rarely take sick days?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.