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The doctor booked your employee off work after an IOD. Do you know how to legally treat this sick leave?

by , 18 December 2014
Let's say your employee has an accident with a hand tool and loses three fingers. He has to have an operation to try to repair the damage. Because of this, the doctor books him off for two months.

Now you're a little anxious because your employee only gets 30 days paid sick leave, so how do you handle this situation correctly.

After all, if you treat this injury sick leave incorrectly, you could land up at the CCMA for an unfair labour practice case.

That's why I'm going to explain how to treat your employee's leave if the doctor books him off after an injury on duty (IOD)...

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Here's how to handle your employee's sick leave after an IOD

In the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), the section covering special sick leave deals specifically with IOD's.
You can't deduct the IOD leave from your employee's normal sick leave. You need to allocate this to special sick leave.
COIDA states that your employee's normal sick leave entitlements don't apply to IODs unless COID rejects his claim. 
So let's look at the example I used earlier where your employee can't work for two months. You can't deduct this time from his sick leave. During this time you have to keep paying your employee. But you only have to pay him 75% of his salary and COID will pay this back to you.
COIDA will reject a claim for temporary partial or total disability that lasts for three days or less. In this case, you can use your employee's normal sick leave
But, even though there's no legal obligation to give your employee extra leave if COID doesn't give him compensation, you should consider a few things.
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Here's what you should consider when you deal with IOD leave if your employee doesn't get compensation

It is legal to use your employee's sick leave if the doctor books him off for three days or less. But, consider if it's fair to your employee. 
The reason you should consider this is, your employee had this accident purely because of his employment with you. 
This means you're indirectly responsible for that accident. With that in mind, you have to decide if it's fair to use your employee's sick leave days to cover an accident you're responsible for. 
In this case, consider giving your employee special paid leave to cover this time so he doesn't lose out on his sick leave entitlements. 
To help you make this decision, consult your COID Compliance Guide and consider:
- What caused the accident? Was it, for example, your employee's behavior or damaged machinery;
- Was your employee wearing his PPE to protect himself;
- Did your employee ignore your safety procedures; and
- Did he use the machinery properly?
Answering these questions will help you decide if you're responsible for the accident and, therefore, if you should consider giving your employee extra special IOD leave. To find out how to legal deal with this special IOD leave, check out The Ultimate Guide to Managing Sick Leave.
But remember, this only applies if COID doesn't give your employee compensation. 
Do you have more COID questions? You can get all the answers you need in the COID Compliance Guide

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