Establishing Attendance Rules when Employees are Sick

Establishing Attendance Rules when Employees are Sick

Have a lot of your employees been out sick recently? This could cause the productivity of your office to fall behind since key persons are not able to complete their tasks. How can you manage attendance during cold and flu season fairly? It is important to keep the health of your employees and growth of your business in mind when making this decision.

To be a respectful and fair business owner, you should recognize that there are times when employees have legitimate reasons to miss work, be late, or leave early. Since employees frequently cite medical, personal, and family reasons as the basis for their absence, you should have a system in place enforcing reasonable attendance expectations. The last thing you want to happen is for a team member to abuse the system by missing work with no excuse. Here are some tips to create a fair attendance policy so you can combat those who violate the system:

Create a Written Attendance Policy
You can still offer employees flexibility in attendance by having a structured policy in place. Written attendance standards are useful in setting and reinforcing your expectations when addressing individual employees. Whatever standards you choose, they should fit the needs of your organization.

Define Excused Absences
Tell employees in advance what kinds of absences and how many are acceptable so there is no confusion. Clearly listing these types of “excused” absences in your policy allows you to avoid arguments in the future. In addition, establish call-in or reporting procedures so you know what is going on and your employees can avoid the consequences of not getting in contact with you.

Only Accept Specific, Honest Excuses
You are entitled to ask whether specific absences were due to the certified condition or some other condition. When an employee fails to call in, ask him/her why he/she didn’t call in accordance with your policy. The answers to those questions will help you determine whether you can count the employee’s absence or his failure to properly call in as a violation of your attendance policy.

As you know, employees can be absent for many reasons. However, whether they are legitimate ones or not, your response needs to be customized appropriately to each case. When you suspect an employee is abusing your attendance policy, make sure to apply punishment appropriately. At Clark Insurance, we hope these tips help you create a solution that allows your company to not fall behind this holiday season!

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