What is the Sick Leave Policy?

Sick leaves are used by employees when they cannot come to work due to their illness or any relatives’. Sick leave policy is a sample that states how much leaves employees can take, what the frequency to avail is, etc. Mostly the number of such leaves is fixed by the organization under the adherence of legislature laws. Pending Sick leaves can be encashed or carried forwarded as per the wish of the employer. It must be ensured that employees don’t feel any pressure of work during a particular time. The policy must provide a healthy kick-start with motivation to the next working day.

In This Policy, You Will Get:
  • The main purpose of the policy is to motivate the employee to get well soon and return to the company with the same productivity which he served before falling ill.
  • If the employee is disabled, he may be entitled for extended leave which would be granted on a case to case basis by the management.
  • If the employee is hospitalised for more than 24 hours, or disabled, he is entitled to submit a certificate of fitness to resume his duties.
  • According to the new definition of the sick leave, taking care of an ill family member is also considered an eligible reason for applying for sick leave.
  • In case of unused sick leaves, the employees are allowed to carry forward the same up to a certain period of time.
  • This feature also helps the employee to refrain from abusing the benefits of sick leaves.

Sick Leave Policy Sample

Traditionally, sick leave is defined as paid time off for an employee in the case of illness or need of medical attention. And though this is a law in some regions, there are a lot more places that are yet to pass a law regarding a paid sick leave policy.

However, most organizations tend to offer sick leave to their employees, paid or otherwise, and tend to have some form of a sick leave policy in place. Ideally, these policies require a sound design and proper planning, which is not the norm everywhere.

Purpose & Scope

Every organization allows a certain number of days of sick leave to each employee beginning on 1st January every year.

Some factors to consider are the work culture at the company, the company’s policy regarding leaves, the effect of the job on the employee’s well-being, etc.

The sick leave policy is an organization’s guidelines for when an employee falls sick and cannot attend work on a particular day(s). Staying home in such a situation is ideal from both the individual’s point of view as well as the company’s point of view.

From the individual’s perspective, the added stress of travel and work could hamper their road to recovery, adversely affecting their productivity in the short term.

As far as the organization is concerned, the concerned employee staying at home improves his rate of recovery, which could reduce the number of overall sick days availed by the employee. This also ensures that the employee does not spread the disease to his/her colleagues, thereby maintaining overall productivity.

In cases of mild sickness, the employee could avail the option of work-from-home if applicable, which is a good middle-ground for all parties concerned.

Employees with disabilities

Disabled employees, whether temporary or permanent, must be eligible for extended leave. However, in most organisations, the requests for extended leave are handled case-by-case. These requests are usually subject to the discretion of the manager/team leader/supervisor/HR. In the event of hospitalisation of an employee for 24 hours or more, the employee, disabled or otherwise, could be asked for a fitness certificate to resume his duties.

Procedure

Though, as mentioned earlier, the traditional definition of sick leave is the time off for an employee in case of an illness or in need of medical attention, this definition has changed over time. Now, sick leave can typically be availed under the following circumstances:

  • Recovery from an existing illness.
  • Resurrection from an accident.
  • Health check-ups in case of sicknesses.
  • To care for an ill family member.

The employees should obey the following criteria.

If an employee chooses to avail his/her sick leave, they are expected to inform their supervisor or HR or any relevant higher position at least half an hour before their scheduled starting time.

They may also be required to produce a physician’s certificate if the HR or manager deems it necessary.

However, the above-mentioned supervisor or HR reserves the right to deny sick leaves if and when they deem necessary.

In case an employee exhausts all of his/her sick leave, he/she may use his/her vacation leave as sick leave. However, sick leaves can never be treated as vacation leaves.

Accumulated sick leaves

Employees are allowed to carry forward a specified number of sick leaves to use for up to a specified number of years as deemed reasonable by the management of the organisation. However, in case an employee is terminated or chooses to discontinue, they cannot encash the accumulated sick leaves as they are not a part of compensation but rather a perk.

Preventing the abuse of sick leave

Additional perks could be provided to reduce sick leave abuse and reduce the number of leaves. This could come in many forms.

For example:

  • A percentage of unused sick leaves could be carried forward, which can then be available later.
  • Another example of this would be a case where an employee who avails less than a predetermined number of days is eligible for a bonus or reward.
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