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Put these three measures in place to stop sick leave abuse today

by , 17 December 2014
Employees who take sick leave often can be a huge liability for you.

The truth is, while some employees don't come to work because they're genuinely ill, there are those who take time off even if they aren't sick. This amounts to sick leave abuse.

The consequence?

Every time they're absent, productivity suffers and you end up losing money.

So how do you deal with this problem?

Put these three measures in place today to stop sick leave abuse in your company.

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Stop sick leave abuse in your company with these three measures

1. Have a sick leave policy in place
The Ultimate Guide to Sick Leave says you must put a sick leave policy in place.
You see, sometimes employees abuse sick leave because they don't know the rules. But if you have a policy in place and make sure they're aware of it, you could put an end to the abuse. What you allow should be clear on your policy.
Your policy will also make your employees aware of the consequences if they go against it and abuse sick leave.
You can find a sample of a sick leave policy in The Ultimate Guide to Sick Leave.
2. Monitor your employees' sick leave carefully
You can put a provision in your leave policy that says employees must complete a sick leave form every time they take sick leave. This will help you establish your employees' sick leave patterns.
If, for example, Jane is always absent and you decide to have an incapacity hearing, her sick leave patterns will give you valuable information for the hearing.
You may, for example, find she has a certain medical condition. And that's why she's always absent. This will enable you to accommodate her so company productivity doesn't suffer. Or dismiss her if she struggles despite your attempts to accommodate her.
Monitoring leave patterns could also reveal that Jane always takes leave after payday. In this case, investigate further and put a stop to the abuse using the next measure…

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The ONLY way to seamlessly protect your business from being dragged to the CCMA every time you have an employee problem is to have a comprehensive HR Policy Manual in place.

3. Always insist on medical certificates
Insist on a medical certificate if your employee is absent from work:
  • For more than two consecutive days; or
  • On more than two occasions during an eight-week period.
Your leave policy is the cornerstone when it comes to stopping sick leave abuse. Make it clear that employees have to produce medical certificates when absent from work.
This way, employees like Jane who always take sick leave after payday, will think twice about pretending to be ill.
Remember, these days' employees even produce fake medical certificates to get away with sick leave abuse. It's important that you inspect the certificate. Check out the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service to discover the details you must check to make sure the certificate isn't a fake.
Sick leave abuse is a costly problem. But you can stop it if you put these three measures in place today. And these aren't the only measures you must take. You'll find the rest in The Ultimate Guide to Sick Leave. 

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