Labour Help Desk: Sick Leave Abuse

Send us a simple labour query and we’ll answer it within 72 hours!

When you subscribe to the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service, you will also have access to our Labour Helpdesk, where we answer your labour questions by email.

Here is the advice our panel of experts gave about Sick Leave to a subscriber:

Question: How to tackle sick leave abuse
I have an employee that takes two days’ sick leave every month on various days of the week. She does produce a doctor’s note, but we would like to know if there is anything we can do to break this trend.

You would need to investigate whether the employee is in fact ill. If she isn’t and the doctor’s notes are forged or fraudulent, you can take disciplinary action. You must also warn your employee this is now becoming a habitual problem, which could lead to disciplinary action or, if it is affecting your business requirements, an incapacity process. You could ask her to submit herself to a medical examination by a company doctor or doctor of your choice. This often acts as a deterrent for future ‘illnesses’.

Other questions answered about leave in the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service:

  • If your company closes over Christmas can you make it mandatory to take leave over that period?
  • Who pays for sick leave when an employee is injured on the job?
  • Do employees lose their accumulated annual leave when they go on maternity leave?
  • What annual leave can you grant to part-time employees?
  • How much sick leave are employees entitled to in their first six months of employment?
  • Can you accept medical certificates from traditional healers?
  • Are males entitled to paternity leave when their children are born?
  • Can an employee carry over family responsibility to the next leave cycle?
  • When must an employee on maternity leave return to work?
  • Is an employee entitled to maternity leave if she has a miscarriage?
  • Plus much more