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Home » Part 1: What can Employers do to Prevent their Employees from Abusing Sick Days

Part 1: What can Employers do to Prevent their Employees from Abusing Sick Days

Human Resources

What can Employers do to Prevent their Employees from Abusing Sick Days

Employees are entitled to sick leave and it is a necessary benefit for all employees. Vast majority of sick leave is genuine, however if an employee is taking sick leave too regularly and/or providing semi-believable excuses, they may be misusing or abusing sick leave.

Absenteeism refers to those who abuse sick leave. Some study has shown that the average absenteeism rate is as high as 4% of the workforce. Not only does employers have to pay these employees for work they didn’t perform, but this type of behaviour also puts additional burdens on coworkers—somebody has to take up the slack. This can result in poor productivity, missed deadlines, bad workplace morale and a hit to profits.

So what can employers do to prevent their employees from abusing sick days?

  1. Employees attendance report
    Track employee attendance is not only essential for compliance and it will also help employers to identify if an employee has a pattern of absenteeism or poor attendance.
  2. Require a doctor’s note
    Some companies require sick employees to provide a doctor’s note before they allow the absence to be counted as a sick day. This can backfire easily as mild illness doesn’t necessarily require a trip to the doctor. However, if an employee takes multiple sick leaves at once, this does allow employees to prove that they are really ill.
  3. Review Sick Leave Policy
    Employers should ensure they have a robust sick leave policy which is also complying with employment laws and regulations. Employers and/or Human Resource Department should also regularly remind employees of their policy in email or conversation to show that they are on top of monitoring sickness absenteeism, discouraging misuse of sick leave.