Filling up the Tank After Taking Unpaid Sick Leave

Filling up the Tank After Taking Unpaid Sick Leave

Many people don’t think twice about taking time off from work when they’re sick. They need time to recover at home where they won’t spread their illness to the rest of the office, so they call out for a couple of days until they’re well enough to focus on their files. But for these people, the choice to stay home is simple because they have paid sick days. 

For nearly one-quarter of US workers — or 33.6 million people — paid sick leave isn’t available. Without this safety net, your decision to stay at home could cost you. 

Just Two Days Could Make It Difficult to Get Back to Work

A couple of days without pay can do a number on your finances. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the wages lost from just two days away from work is the equivalent of your month’s gas money. 

Imagine your budget without the usual money you use to fill up your tank. If you’re lucky, you can withdraw this cash from your savings. Without an emergency fund, you might be able to pull this money from areas of your budget by cutting subscriptions and adopting a no-frills diet. 

Unfortunately, you may live on a shoestring budget, which means you don’t have a lot of discretionary spending to reduce. In these emergency situations, many people turn to online direct lenders and their loans for help. 

What are direct lender loans? Online direct lender loans are short-term personal loans provided by one financial institution. Whether it’s your typical online bank or a new microfinancing platform, these institutions facilitate and fund loans on their own without middlemen, streamlining the process for borrowers.

Filling Your Tank After an Illness 

If it’s a choice between not getting to work again or borrowing a loan online, talking to a direct lender might make sense. 

But before you borrow an online loan, go through this checklist to see if you can get to work another way:

  • Ask your employers if you can telecommute for the rest of the month. This might not be an option if your employers don’t supply paid sick leave, but it’s worth a shot.
  • Request to speak with your employer about a cash advance on your paycheck. If you let them know it would go towards the gas you need to arrive at work, they may be willing to advance you the funds.
  • Ask coworkers to carpool with you until you get your finances sorted.
  • Consider walking or biking to work if it’s safe to do so, even if it’s far away.
  • Reach out to coworkers you trust, friends, and family members who may be able to pay for a tank of gas. Let them know you intend to pay them back once you’re back to work and earning your full paycheck.

The Takeaway:

A sudden illness can put your financial situation and career in perspective. If you can’t afford to get to work over two missed days, it may be time to ask your boss about a raise or promotion. Prepare for this meeting with reasons why they should increase your pay — not just because of the rising cost of living. You should point to your achievements at work as proof you deserve a raise.

If that doesn’t work, take some time to think about your career. What do you have to do to clinch a job with better pay and better benefits?