With so many major events happening this year, how do you ensure that you balance everyone having the opportunity to attend the Olympics for example and manage the minority who will abuse the absence system to take “extra” holiday.
This is such a difficult line for small businesses; so how are they best managed? Here are my top 5 tips:-
- 1) Ensure that you have a robust holiday process.
- 2) Leave should be booked on a “first come, first served” basis.
- 3) Employees who are absent without authorisation will not be paid in respect of days not worked.
- 4) Employees who are absent without permission on the day of a major sporting event and who are not able to provide medical evidence or a sound explanation for their absence will be subject to the organisation’s disciplinary procedure.
- 5) Remember this is an exceptional year and very often you end up making rules for the minority rather than the majority.
Sick leave is a complex and difficult area in human resources. It is fraught with potential pitfalls for small businesses and the consequences can be very expensive.
So, let’s see if we can dismiss some of the myths that surround this topic.
Q: Do I have to allow an individual to reschedule holiday due to sickness?
A: Yes, you should allow the rescheduling of holiday.
The ECJ (Pereda v Madrid Movilidad SA) dictated that where an individual’s pre-arranged statutory holiday coincides with a period of sick leave, the ‘Equal Treatment Directive’ requires that the individual should be given the opportunity to take leave at another time.
However, a good Absence Policy is essential to prevent abuse. For example, individuals are only entitled to statutory sick pay if they turn holiday into sick leave; ensuring individuals report sickness to their manager and requiring medical evidence for longer absences; recording and monitoring sickness absence; and only paying sick pay if the individual is unfit to do the job – the fact that a worker cannot “enjoy” their holiday need not be treated as sick leave.
If you are ever unsure – seek further advice.