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Sick leave: To pay or not to pay?

by , 18 April 2013
Sick leave's always a touchy subject. Employees do all they can to extend their time away from work and still get paid for it. That's why New York's Chelsea City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has grudgingly agreed that companies with a certain amount of staff need to provide employees with a quota of paid sick leave each year. But what do you do if your employee's already used up his paid sick leave?

New York's Chelsea City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has been negotiating about pending paid sick leave legislation.
The legislation only takes effect on 1 April 2014, but it requires companies with 20 or more employees to provide them with five days of paid sick leave, says ChelseaNow.
That's just one bad case of bronchitis per year.
So it's a lot less than what's allowed locally.
Because during an employee's first six months of employment, the employee is entitled to one day's paid sick leave for every 26 days worked.
Thereafter, the employee is entitled to an amount of paid sick leave equal to the number of days the employee would normally work during a period of six weeks during a 36 month cycle. 
That means employees who work a five-day week are entitled to 30 days' sick leave in a 36-month or three-year cycle, says The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf.
But what if your employee falls really ill and runs out of sick leave?
Three options if your employee uses up all the sick leave he's allocated 
You aren't obliged to treat this as paid sick leave by paying him for that time off. 
You should treat this type of absence as unpaid leave, and the employee can claim from UIF.
You can also agree with your employee to make up the shortfall in sick leave with annual leave. 
You're also entitled to reduce the wages payable and extend the number of days' sick leave in agreement with your employee, adds The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf.
Here's when you don't have to pay your employee for sick leave!
You don't have to pay an employee for sick leave if he's been absent from work for more than two consecutive days or on more than two occasions during an eight week period and, at your request, doesn't give a sick note, says Lizle Louw, Editor in Chief of The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf on FSP Business.
Simple as that.

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