Why Your Business Needs a Sick Leave Policy

All employees know that dreaded feeling of a sniffle or a tickle in the throat. Getting sick is never fun, but when there’s work to be done it can be challenging to pick between coming in to the office or prioritizing one’s health. Sick leave is a form of paid or unpaid leave that gives ill or injured employees time to heal. But how many sick leave days an employee gets, whether they’re paid or not, and reasons for taking it can vary across regions and companies. That’s why it’s important for businesses to have clear sick leave policies in place.

Keep Germs at Bay

Business checkups

As an employer, it can be frustrating to have fewer employees working than you expected. It’s usually in everyone’s best interest to keep sick employees at home though.   It could be a liability to have employees operating machinery while taking medications that cause drowsiness. Having sick employees around also increases the chances of the sickness spreading, which may result in more employees needing to take sick leave.

Regional Rules

If your business spans across countries, states, provinces, or various regions it’s important to know all the local regulations and guidelines surrounding sick leave. All businesses are legally required to comply with relevant laws, so it’s a good idea to know what they are. The different government rules can be confusing for employees though, so it’s a good idea to have a company wide policy in place that clarifies and establishes the sick leave rules for your business.

Flexible Working

These days, more businesses are realizing the traditional 9-5 work schedule in an office doesn’t work as well as it used to. Many jobs today can be done through telecommuting. If an employee is able to do their job from home, consider allowing that as an option until they are well enough to return. That way the work still gets done and the germs don’t spread.

Provide Clarity

Most employees don’t enjoy informing their boss that they won’t be able to make it into work, no matter how sick they’re feeling. When there isn’t a clear policy in place, confusion makes this that much harder. Employers should establish a clear sick leave policy that outlines things such as how many sick days an employee gets, what they can be used for, whether or not the company will require medical notes, whether sick leave is paid or unpaid, and what happens if they use too many sick days. Just make sure to consult with your HR team to ensure all company policies surrounding sick leave comply with any government regulations!

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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