What To Do When An Employee Abuses Sick Leave?

There has been a massive increase in incidents of leave abuse within companies, especially sick leave. The employee may be away regularly for short periods for the same or a number of reasons, or a pattern of absence emerges, such as absences before and after weekends, public holidays, or paydays. This causes issues for the company’s operations and may result in a revenue loss. 

Employers may find it hard to deal with this abuse because it appears to be a “difficult” conversation to have. If your employee abuses sick leave and counter-attacks on you, you can sue them or hire an attorney to take further steps. 

What are you supposed to do when an employee abuses sick leave?

If a person often skips work and/or fails to provide suitable reasons for their absence, they might be misusing or abusing sick leave. Absenteeism is another name for the misuse of sick leave. This refers to workers who repeatedly take sick leave when they do not need it.

There are methods to limit sick leave abuse before and during absences.

  • Set boundaries for sick leave abuse.

To start with, establish your guidelines for what constitutes possible sick leave abuse in your business. Consult an employment law professional to figure out what degrees of absence are inappropriate (depending on the circumstances). You will need to make sure that you are not discriminating against workers whose absences are due to disability.

  • Deter employees from abusing sick leave at the policy level.

Make sure your staff handbook contains an extensive sickness absence policy. Explain how you handle sick leave and what you expect from employees who take days off work for illness. In addition, you should remind workers of your policy periodically by email or chat. This will show that you are on top of tracking sickness absence and discouraging instances of abuse. You should also inform employees that failing to comply with the sickness absence rules may result in disciplinary action against them.

How to deal with an employee who abuses sick leave?

If you think an employee who often misses work is abusing sick time, you need to handle the matter practically but cautiously. You must also have your facts prepared, which is why software for recording and measuring absence is so helpful.

Managers should be attentive when someone on their team is sick in order to address abusive situations. Maintain regular communication with the employee while they are unwell and arrange a return-to-work interview when they return. This shows your sensitivity to sickness absence. This is reassuring for employees who are genuinely ill, but anyone faking to be absent is reminded that they cannot perform such actions anymore.