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10 Sick leave rules you must never break

by , 18 February 2016
Michael's 'sick' again... For the 4th time this month. Nosipho has a doctor's appointment at 10am - is this sick leave?

I know you always have employees off sick. And it affects your bottom line when they're not at work. You need to make sure you know exactly what your employees are entitled to so they can't abuse their sick leave.

But first... How many days do you have to give your employees?

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How much paid sick leave must you grant your employees?

During an employee's first 6 months of employment, you must give him 1 day's paid sick leave for every 26 days he works.

After that, employees who work 5 days a week are entitled to 30 days' sick leave in a 3-year cycle. Employees who work a 6-day week are entitled to 36 days' sick leave. You must include any days he took in his first 6 months into account with this number.

That's what you have to do for an employee… Now let's look at 10 rules you mustn't break when it comes to giving sick leave….

*Editor recomenneds*
What if I told you R19 billion is how much sick leave costs SA employers every year?
R19 billion: That's how much SANRAL racked up in debt with its Gauteng road eToll system...
R19 billion: That's how much the total net worth of telecommunications giant, Vodacom stands at...
R19 billion: That's how much South African medical aids paid to medical specialists for the whole of 2010.
It's a lot, right?

Discover all the steps you must take today to ensure your company only pays what it really has to when it comes to sick leave...

Don't break these 10 sick leave rules

You should NOT:
  1. Give sick leave to employees who work less than 24 hours' per month.
  2. Give paid sick leave to your employee if he takes more than the minimum days in terms of the BCEA.
  3. Reduce sick leave pay to below ¾ of your employee's normal pay, if you come to an arrangement that you'll pay him less on a sick day so he gets more sick days.
  4. Accumulate sick leave. Your employee will forfeit whatever he hasn't used at the end of the sick leave cycle.
  5. Pay an employee if he was absent from work for more than 2 consecutive days or on more than 2 occasions during an 8 week period and doesn't give you a medical certificate when you ask for it.
  6. Ask for a medical certificate for a single day of sick leave. Unless you identify a pattern of absence over an 8-week period.
  7. Pay an employee for sick leave if you have proof his medical certificate was forged.
  8. Apply sick leave to periods when an employee can't work because of an injury or occupational disease. As defined in the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act or the Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act.
  9. Pay sick leave for employees to visit the doctor for check-ups or appointments. Unless the doctor states he's unable to work because of an illness. Rather allow unpaid leave.
  10. Give an employee sick leave to undergo voluntary cosmetic surgery. Unless it's for specific medical    reasons and he's unable to work.
Remember, your employee must be too ill to work to claim sick pay. If you have proof he wasn't ill enough not to work, have a meeting with him to correct his behaviour. If the abuse continues, you can take disciplinary action for abuse of sick leave or absence without leave.

So as you can see you're entitled to ask Michael for a doctor's certificate, and no… Nosipho isn't allowed sick leave. Click here now to find out how to download a sample sick leave policy.

P.S. Want to know how to discipline an employee who's always taking sick leave? This is what our expert says…

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