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Here's what you need to know about who gets paid sick leave and who doesn't

by , 23 April 2014
Paid sick leave isn't a cut and dry thing. The rules are very clear, but to make sure that employees don't abuse this, you need to know who gets and doesn't. Here are some simple points to help you weed out those who are entitled from those who are taking chances.

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So who gets paid sick leave and who doesn't? 
 
If you don't control your sick leave policy, employees will start taking chances to just get extended holidays. So here's what you need to know, before handing out paid sick leave:
 
Who gets: Employees who work more than 24 hours a week for you get sick leave entitlements. 
They get one day off after which they have to have a doctor's letter to prove they are sick. If this is in your sick leave policy and their contract, they have to follow this rule. 
 
Labour Law for Managers says even employees who've been with you for six months or less get sick leave. But this is one day for every 26 days that they work.
 
Who doesn't get: If you have an employee who works less than 24 hours a week for you, then they're not entitled to paid sick leave
Also, if an employee doesn't give you a doctor's letter for more than one day off, then they're not entitled to it and the leave will become unpaid. But remember this must be in your sick leave policy and their contract for you to enforce it. 
 
In addition, also put in a clause that no employee can take paid sick leave on a Monday or Friday or the day before or after a public holiday without a doctor's letter. Again this has to be in your policy and the contract.
 
But what should you do with the employees who don't follow your policy?
 
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What to do when employees don't follow your sick leave policy?
 
According to the experts on the Labour and HR Club, treat this as a disciplinary issue. You can charge your employee with unauthorised absence from work. This means you can take it off of his annual leave or make him take the time as unpaid leave. 
 
Use these guidelines to help you give sick leave to those who are entitled and not to those abusing the system. 
 

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