How to Manage Employees Abusing Their Sick Leave

Posted by Andrew on January 6, 2020

There are several legitimate reasons an employee may call out of work. Illnesses, federally protected leave, and family emergencies can arise without notice. However, when employers begin to notice certain employees always seem to call out sick during the summer or holiday season, they may have an absenteeism problem on their hands.

The Effects of Absenteeism

Absenteeism rates vary depending on the industry, but the averages range from 2.1% to 4% of the workforce. While that may not seem very high at a glance, it can have far-reaching consequences. For businesses with 500 employees, this can mean as many as 20 employees are misusing their sick leave. This costs employers in several ways. Not only do they have to pay the employee for work they didn’t perform, but it also puts a strain on the remaining employees as they have to pick up the slack. This can result in missed deadlines, a loss of reputation, poor workplace morale, and a hit to profits.

Monitoring Sick Leave Abuse

The simplest way to prevent absenteeism is to be aware of it through an attendance system. Employers can keep an eye on potential sick leave abuse in the following ways:

* Recognize the signs and intervene early
* Find out why the employee is abusing their leave; there may be a larger problem at play causing the absences such as office bullying or a scheduling conflict
* Learn to say no to unrealistic requests for leave
* Ensure employees are aware of sick leave policies as well as the resulting disciplinary action for abusing sick leave

Of course, another element of monitoring sick leave is encouraging employees to use it correctly as well. Employees who come to work despite their illness can spread contagion and cause widespread absences.

Balancing legitimate sick leave requests while preventing absenteeism can be a challenge for employers. This is why having an absence management system is vital. Such systems can track absences, identify attendance trends, and more. Contact the experts at Actec to learn how we can help your business eliminate absenteeism.