25/01/2016 6:39 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Took Today Off For A 4-Day Weekend? Unions Say Feel Good, Not Guilty

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USA, California, Laguna Beach, Father playing football on beach with his three sons (6-7, 10-11, 14-15)

If you've taken today off to turn The Australia Day public holiday into a four-day weekend, feel good, not guilty.

That's what union bosses are saying in a bid to end the "holiday guilt trip" for Australians spending time with family and friends today.

Unions NSW Acting Secretary Mark Morey said we were a hard-working nation that deserved a break.

“Australians work so much overtime that during an average week they donate some $2.1 billion dollars to their employers," Morey said in a statement.

"That works out to be $9,471 dollars in unpaid overtime to employers each year.

“A third of employed Australians are in their workplaces for over 50 hours per week."

The Australian Chamber of Commerce last week said sickies across the nation would amount to $62 million in lost productivity today, but Morey said bosses needed some perspective.

“Of course leave entitlements should be taken appropriately, but before the bosses’ lobby works themselves into a lather we need some perspective.

“When you consider all the context, running a campaign to aggressively begrudge workers a day off — on a single, conveniently placed Monday in this summer — is simply mean spirited.”

So, if you've taken a day of annual leave, relax. Feel good. You've earned it.