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Your employee left work at 2pm with a migraine - how do you handle her sick leave?

by , 05 October 2016
Your employee left work at 2pm with a migraine - how do you handle her sick leave?Everyone has at least one employee who drags herself to work - no matter how horrid she feels.

And what inevitably happens? Come 2pm she's feeling so bad, she has no other choice but to take some sick leave and go home.

But how do you go about allocating this sick leave in your employee attendance record?

Do you mark it as a half day because she left at 2pm? Or does the unwritten rule that 'if your employee was at work until after 10am she's been there all day' stand?

Read on to find out...

 

How to allocate sick leave when your employee's spent half the day at work

 
Recently, an HR manager approached me about how sick leave works when an employee had been at work for some of the day. 
 
She said, that in her company, 'if an employee was not feeling well and needed to go home or to the doctor - as long as he/she left after 10h00 – he/she didn't need to complete a Leave Application Form.'
 
But is this really a rule? 
 
To find out I spoke to various people in HR and many confirmed that their companies follow this rule too.
 
But is it actually something you need to do?
 
To discover that, I turned to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA). This is what I found:
 

The BCEA doesn't not make provision for this 10am sick leave situation 

 
In fact, this situation came from government where persons who worked until 10h00 and then left could do so without applying for sick leave for that particular day. Since concession became the norm, it became a rule through the regular use. 
 
So what should you do in these cases?
 
The first thing is to investigate if your company has an unwritten rule like this that you've been using for years. If you do, you can't change it without consultation. This because common practise has become the law in this matter. To change it, it needs to be referred to the CCMA as it would be seen as a unilateral change of working conditions. 
 
If, on the other hand, you don't use this as common practice, you need to know that while there's no stipulation in the legislation for this, if your employee has worked for the majority of the day, you should deduct no more than a quarter- or half-day of sick leave for the time she's taken off. 
 
Whatever you do, just make sure you do this consistently across all your employees so you don't land up at the CCMA for unfair labour practice.
 

PS: Do you have other questions regarding sick leave?

 
The Complete Guide to Managing Sick Leave electronic report is an easy-to-follow, practical report that'll help with every sick leave issue you come up against. 
 
Plus, you'll receive sample sick leave policy template, sick leave forms, return to work interview template and so much more. 
 
 

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