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Do you realise your sick employee's presenteeism is a massive health risk?

by , 16 July 2014
Not everyone knows this but there's a word for it when sick employees insist on coming to work: Presenteeism.

Now you might think presenteeism is something you want to see in your workplace. After all, no one wants to have half their workforce off sick in bed. But the truth is those present sick employees are a massive health and safety concern.

Here's why...

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Sick employees at work are a health risk to others 

 
We all know the sounds of winter in the office. It's the sound of everyone coughing, sneezing and sniffing as they sit at their desks. 
 
Each time those employees cough and sneeze, they're spreading their germs. These germs can then make the next person sick. This makes them a health hazard.
 
It's your job to protect your employees from all health hazards. If you don't, you're going to land up with an office full of sick people and it won't be long before you get their bugs too.
 
So instead of letting all your employees work in a giant petri dish, rather deal with the office health and safety issue of presenteeism...
 

Here's how you can deal with the health risk of presenteeism

 
To prevent really sick employees from spreading their germs left, right and centre, you must have a clear sick leave policy.
 
Also speak to them and tell them it's better they go home for the day but if they need more than one day off they must get a doctor's letter.
 
Be open with your employees and tell them it's for their benefit, as well as the benefit of all the other employees, that they go home.
 
Remember to deal with each case of presenteeism at your own discretion. 
 
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