Top Guidelines for Creating a Paid Sick Leave Policy
It’s been known that nationally paid sick leave is growing, and the trend seems to continue. Smart employers have noted that employee productivity is greatly increased when their personnel know that they can take off a certain amount of time they need.
What is a paid sick leave?
An Overview of PTO (Paid Time Off)
Paid sick leave is also known as PTO or Personal Time Off, and basically it’s the hours that an employer gives to its employees for sick days, including paid days the employee can take off within a given year.
Companies have been facing the need to create a paid sick-leave guideline. They are discovering that, in fact, by implementing a proper structure, a paid sick leave can mutually benefit the company and the employee, as employees on paid sick leave become more productive upon their return.
Before putting into place their leave policy, an employer should take into consideration their own business needs and when setting guidelines for their employees’ sick leave policy, they should determine if it is best to have a single vacation and sick day absence policy, or to custom tailor the time-off per situation and case.
Single PTO verses per Case Policy
It has been recorded that the majority of employees do not use their sick leave and try to save it for the future when they really need it most. Also, policing employees is a hard thing to do, as employees like to have the flexibility to select when they need to take time off from the work they enjoy. Therefore, looking at it from the standpoint of just manpower, if the sick leave policy is done on a per case basis, employees will take less time off, than if the company has an umbrella general policy regarding time off.
The “Ideal Policy” should separate the benefits of the sick paid leave policy by type, all while including:
- A way to track the build-up towards the leave
- A method for employees to ask for an anticipated leave
- The right of the employer to ask for a type of medical documentation
- A procedure to audit the employee and to prevent and discover sick leave abuse
Many companies have been starting to integrate their PTO, vacation and sick leave policies into bundles. Paid leave does not obligate the employer to pay the accrued and unused sick leave when an employee is terminated, although they most probably will have to pay out the accrued vacation time.
It seems that some business lawyers have also advised their clients that un-bundling “leave benefits” may be a better option, since the company will then not have to pay for unnecessary, unused sick and PTO time to the employee they are dismissing. Many companies have been separating the sick leave from the vacation time leave in their guidelines, so they will know exactly how much they will owe their employee when they depart from the company.
What happens to those employees who are used to bundled benefits and want that type of benefit?
The lawyers recommend making it a “clear leave policy” by stating in the guidelines that PTO, vacation and sick leave come out from the same place; the entire company budget. The employee must be notified that every day they use for a sick day leave, they will be deducting that from their paid vacation time. That way they will use their paid sick leave wisely and with more thought put into it.
The issue some companies are dealing with more and more is absenteeism taking place in order to simply get a paid day off! That is why it’s important for business owners to start requesting their staff for a note from the doctor or be advised of foreseeable sick leaves ahead of time.
- Employees who are thought of abusing the PTO should be monitored and their actions documented.
- Some corporations have started paying sick-leave for part-time and temporary employees.
- Some employers, such as restaurant owners, need not concern themselves too much with abuse of absenteeism, as a “tipped” worker is less likely to call in sick.
Benefits of Paid Sick Leave
Many employers found that employees feel great about their job and themselves if they have better control over their work time. In turn there is less abuse of sick leave; enthusiastic employees who are energetic at work, are pleasant on the job, likable by the customers they serve, and totally beneficial for the companies they work for.
Successful companies integrate the suggestions and feedback from their human resources and staff when coming up with thriving paid sick leaves. Policies and plans that work really well for their firm or corporation are put into place and the workers needs are implemented into the guidelines; it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Article provided by Neches FCU, an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.
Neches FCU is one of the most trusted Texas credit unions. Their superior team of professionals are famous for providing top notch service to its 45,000+ members. They are well-known for a positive work atmosphere, where all clients are known by name.