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The coming cold front will cost businesses R20 881 917 - don't contribute to the sick leave pot!

by , 08 August 2013
South Africa will endure the last big cold spell of winter with a cold front coming in next week. Not only does this mean your office heaters will be running full blast, but it means employees will take sick days. Sick leave pay costs SA business over R19 billion every year. That means that a single bout of flu - like the one that'll come with the latest cold front - will cost businesses upward of R20 million. How can you keep your employees happy, healthy and productive? Read on to find out...

When your staff is sick, your business is sick. It doesn't perform to its full ability when you're short-staffed.

So it's no wonder that South African businesses lose billions every year to illness. And with a cold front coming in, the next wave of flu is inevitable.

You may think sick leave is inevitable, but you CAN make employees healthier and less sickly with these tips from the Health and Safety Advisor

Here's how to prevent absenteeism in the workplace
  1. If you provide food at the workplace, make sure it is nutritious and healthy. A healthy diet helps keep worker's immune systems up.
  2. Have a strong anti-presenteeism policy. If an employee comes to work sick, let them know that it's not okay. Expressly allow them to take a sick day.  If they 'feel fine', they can work from home. By coming into work, they lower their productivity, prolong their illness and risk infecting other members of staff. It may seem like encouraging them to take a sick day is counter-intuitive, but it'll actually prevent a wider epidemic from sweeping through your business.
  3. Stress is a big factor that lowers immune response. Resolve conflicts and keep stress levels to a minimum so your workers won't be as vulnerable to infections.
  4. Keep track of absenteeism and have a return-to-work interview with everyone who takes sick leave. This inconvenience and accountability will cut down on casual sick leave abuse.

With these tips in mind, you can survive the coming cold front with minimal financial damage to your company.


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