How Does a Sick Day Work?

By hrlineup | 25.11.2020

Employees face ups and downs in their lives which may affect their ability to consistently work from one day to the next. Employers count on employee performance to meet organisational goals. For employers, consideration of employee needs can lead to a safe and flexible work environment. Sick time off is one of those allowances, where employees can deal with health concerns while they are away from the workplace.

There are no federal legal requirements that companies need to comply with concerning paid sick leave. In several states, some regulations guide employers to handle employees who seek leave for illness, both paid and unpaid. The type of sick leave that a business offers is fully dependent on the employer and their goals. Paid sick time off requires the employer to pay the employee, even when they are unable to attend work due to being unwell.

How do Sick Days Work?

When an employee feels as though their physical health will come in the way of their performance in the workplace, they may decide to take a sick day. This is to allow their minds and bodies to heal so they can work effectively. Also, they may have a contagious illness and a sick day ensures others in the business do not fall ill.

Sick leave is often mixed up with personal days, though they have some differences. The main reasons for taking a sick day include ill-health through illness or contagious ailments, as well as surgery or injuries that lead to hospitalization. Personal days may refer to the time needed to cater to a range of obligations, with family, legal, home, and more.

Employers must put in place guidelines on how employees seek leave so that they can be held accountable. This will prevent employees from simply calling in sick because they woke up late or do not feel like working on a particular day. Normally, a sick day is taken with short notice, so a procedure needs to be put in place. Procedures ensure that employees do not take advantage of their sick days.

To take a sick day at the workplace, the following may be followed: –

  • Share an email with the Human Resource officer indicating the need to take a day off
  • Indicate within the message when you will be able to get back to work
  • Clearly outline whether the day off is Paid or Unpaid
  • Share a copy of doctors note or medical report when it is available

Planned Sick Days

Planned sick days can be a part of a bigger paid personal time off (PTO) plan. With this type of plan, rather than employers allocating sick leave based on number of days or weeks that an employee has worked each year, paid time off is calculated as a fixed total number of days in a year.

Within these days, employees can choose to take paid holidays, paid vacations, paid Personal time off or sick leave. Planned sick days through a plan protect the employer as to when the days in the plan are complete, the obligation to offer paid options is removed.