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Presenteeism: Encouraging Sick Workers to Come in

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Rashiminos, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Rashiminos

    Rashiminos Fool Prophet

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    An article to motivate discussion:

    *This article and the following question are somewhat US centric. Feel free to provide relevant context for other regions.

    What sort of minor illness reporting policy would CFC posters consider to be a fair balance between encouraging employees to stay home when they are sick while serving to discourage unwarranted "sick time" (ab)use?

    IMO, asking for professional verification for every minor incident is tantamount to asking (some) employees to come in sick. The employee would have arrange an appointment and transportation on short notice (especially if they are not fit to transport themselves), and then pay a cost to a health care provider. The employee already know s/he is sick beforehand. An employee who is capable of getting that verification is also capable of getting to work (and attempting to be productive). If the employee had a less stringent choice (just staying home for a short period, ie a day), they would make that choice instead.

    It might seem more reasonable to have such a requirement if:

    -We have a large system of 'qualified' (formal) professionals that routinely made housecalls for this purpose
    -The cost of this operation was free or nearly so, at least to the employee (subsidized health care anyone?)
     
  2. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    What country are you in? American companies usually accept a phone call as proof and keep a tally of your sick days.

    I've been frequently told not to come to work sick, as why spread it to the rest of the staff?
     
  3. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    No sick days, only vacation days.

    I shouldn't be losing out on time off because of my healthy lifestyle that results in minimal illness.
     
  4. Bugfatty300

    Bugfatty300 Buddha Squirrel

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    A "doctor's note" was always demanded when I called out sick. Yet, I never produced one and none of my employers ever made a fuss about it.

    You don't go to a doctor when you have a sinus infection or stomach virus and my doctor's office was closed every other day including the weekend. If my employers want to foot the bill for an ER visit then I'd be happy to produce a doctor's note.

    But I'm not 12 years old. I'm an adult. If you can't take my word for it then why'd you hire me in the first place?
     
  5. kochman

    kochman Deity

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    I've worked in both environments, in the USA and abroad.
    It comes down to staffing, often times. If the company is poorly staffed, they want to discourage calling off... rather than hiring extra staff to cover such contingencies.

    To me it is a difference between a company that sucks, and one that doesn't... if you are treated like a dirtbag for calling off, there is a bad vibe coming from leadership about it.

    I think, you get more of this negative approach in America, as in my experience, European companies tend to care more about their people as people as opposed to assets. This is highly subjective though.
     
  6. Brighteye

    Brighteye intuitively Bayesian

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    We should be trying harder to encourage sick people to stay away. We don't need sick notes here, but people are still rated on their number of sick days. If other people sneeze on me, why should I be ranked lower?
    If a company wants to use sick days as ranking, it should expect me to come in with any sickness that doesn't immobilise me, whether or not it's contagious.
     
  7. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    My sister works for a large Canadian company and all she gets is 4 sick days.. however, they are bundled with her vacation days - so when she uses a sick day she is essentially losing a vacation day.

    The result? People don't call in sick.. ever.. unless they're basically so sick that they couldn't come in anyway (i.e. it is something really serious).

    And what happens? The germs spread and everyone in the office ends up getting sick. It's a ridiculous way to do business - it lowers morale AND productivity.

    I would never work for an employer that did this. When I get sick I stay at home.. and I expect the same courtesy from my office mates. My vacation days are separate from my sick days, the way it should be.
     
  8. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    That's dumb, I get 130 sick days and separate vacation days, and I've never taken any sick days, because I don't get sick, while people who have unhealthy lifestyles get tons of time off.
     
  9. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    It is VERY dumb. My sister hates it but her job pays VERY well, including very generous bonuses.. so she puts up with it.

    I get 130-150 sick days too.. or something like that. Obviously I don't use them all each year :p But I do call in sick maybe once a month.
     
  10. kochman

    kochman Deity

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    Am I missing something?

    130-150 sick "days"??? What?
     
  11. KMRblue1027

    KMRblue1027 The Crown!

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    This is a Canada is weird instance I assume. 130 days does seem absolutely nuts however.
     
  12. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

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    Or existing conditions. Although I'm now medication-free (yay!) I still need to get blood-tests done regularly. Though I suppose I could go into work after getting the blood-test done (where I live its in the mornings on some weekdays). Actually I'm in school so that doesn't really matter.
     
  13. illram

    illram Deity

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    You guys get 130 sick days? I was clearly born in the wrong country. (Does that number come from a legal entitlement, e.g., are they akin to legal entitlements to weeks off for disabilities or pregnancy, like we have here?)

    I think requiring doctor's notes for a routine "sick" day is overbearing. (Not to mention unfair if your employer does not provide healthcare, as Bugfatty pointed out.) A phone call the night before or the morning of should be sufficient. This is also why PTO is sometimes preferable to sick/vacation from a management perspective. Days off are days off, doesn't matter why you want them. (Although this does encourage you to come in when you're sick... even though functionally, a lot of places that make the distinction don't check up on you when you call in "sick" so really they're all the same anyway.)
     
  14. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    Not a legal requirement. Warpus and I both work union jobs at universities.

    They're not all fully paid, I think I get like 30 at full salary and then the rest at 70%.

    They're pretty useless to me though, I've been at my job for a year and have taken zero sick days. I'd rather have five vacation days in exchange for all my sick days.
     
  15. rugbyLEAGUEfan

    rugbyLEAGUEfan Deity

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    Here , most people get 20 days paid holidays ( at a 17% bonus to your pay while on hols) plus about 6 or 7 " no questions asked " sick days .

    It's almost considered un Australian not to take up your "sickies"
     
  16. emzie

    emzie wicked witch of the North

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    Short term disability programs. I get up to 6 months of it at a private company.

    Basically if you're unable to work, your job continues to pay out your pay for the time frame. Mine is at 66% normal pay past 2 weeks. If I'm still unable to return to work after that, I start collecting private long term disability insurance.

    Of course, in practice, the company is reluctant to pay out unless it's clear cut... and you end up having to sue them.
     
  17. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    Hire only quality workers, who will not try to abuse a system.
     
  18. Silurian

    Silurian Deity

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    Well my last permanent job gave me 26 weeks full salary followed by 26 weeks half salary.
    But no allowances and bonus when sick.

    In the UK you write your own sick note up to 7 days then you have to get one from the doctor.
    You have to phone up as soon as possible when you get sick and then every day or so depending what is wrong with you.

    Most employers keep a record of when you are sick and the reason. I do not see a problem with that.

    Where I have worked most people have tend to work if they have a minor cold and never take days off sick as an entitlement. But we did get reasonable holidays 25 to 30 days plus public holidays.
     
  19. kramerfan86

    kramerfan86 Deity

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    Companies definitely should not take actions that discourage the ill from taking off. I usually get a bad case of stomach flu every couple of years. It is certainly not something I would want to go to work with but at the same time it is certainly not something I waste my time and money on a doctor's visit for. Best system definitely would be a certain amount of non-vacation day sick days with a limit on how many you can use without a doctor's note.
     
  20. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    could you get a second job that also gives 150 sick days, and alternate working half the year at each to get 140% salary?
     

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