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'You have a migraine; go home!' Plus two more cases where you're better off forcing your employees to take sick leave

by , 17 April 2014
Employees get sick, that's nothing new. You might not grant sick leave for a common cold or a headache, but there are times when a head ache isn't just a head ache. In these situations your employee won't be much use to you. Here are three of these situations where you should force them to take sick leave.

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When should I force sick leave?
 
When your employee is feeling too ill to actually function, you should force them to take a sick day. 
 
Migraines are a perfect example of this. Your employee may come to work feeling fine and within two hours they can barely lift their head because they're in so much pain. They may insist on 'waiting it out', but this isn't a good idea. The only thing that can help a migraine is darkness and sleep, so you should force your employee to go home.
 
Food poisoning is another example of where your employee may come to work thinking they're okay. But when they're unable to leave the bathroom a couple hours later, they're not going to get any work done anyway. 
 
And finally, when an employee has something contagious you should definitely send them home. Sick leave isn't just for their benefit; it's also there to protect the rest of your employees. So even if they're well enough to work, if they're contagious, send them home.
 
So once you've sent them home, you have to deal with the admin…
 
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What are the sick leave entitlements if I force the sick leave?
 
Remember even if they only take half days leave, they still get their normal sick leave entitlements. This works the same as normal paid sick leave. They still only need a doctor's letter for more than one day. Labour Law for Managers says that even part-time employees who work more than 24 hours a month also get statutory sick pay rates.

Labour Guide adds that your employee has sick leave entitlements of 30days per three years. So he can take this one day and not worry about it affecting the amount of sick leave he gets.
 
So make the call when you can see your employee would be better off at home. Just remember that the rules of sick leave are the same, even if you're the one enforcing it. 
 

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