Excessive sickies giving you with a headache?

There are things you can do if a staff member is abusing leave, but make sure you have a policy.

Question:

John has an employee that has been abusing their entitlement to personal leave by taking excessive time off without presenting a medical certificate.

This employee consistently takes Mondays off or time off either side of long weekends.

John wants to know what he can do to tackle this issue.

Answer:

Ideally John would have a leave policy in place that requires staff to notify the business prior to the commencement of their shift (or otherwise as soon as reasonably practical) that they will be absent due to personal illness or injury.

The policy should require staff to advise how long the absence is likely to be for and should also include the ability for the business to request evidence on each occasion where employees wish to access personal leave.

The policy should also clearly outline the consequences of failure to comply. This may include disciplinary action up to, and including, termination of employment.

All staff should be educated on the policy and management should be held responsible for monitoring compliance and consistent enforcement.

Breaches of the policy then become a disciplinary matter for which written warnings might be appropriate and ultimately termination may occur after multiple breaches.

Like to know more or have a similar situation you need to manage? CCI’s Employee Relations Advice Centre is a free service for most CCI Members — contact us now on (08) 9365 7660 or [email protected] for professional employee relations and human resources advice.  

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