What To Do When An Employee Calls In Sick
No one likes being sick, but it happens. While many driven workers come to work sick, there are plenty of employees who are happy to call in sick and that’s a good thing. The best thing for your workforce, and therefore your company, is to keep your team healthy so that they can work hard for you.
As an employer, it’s important to create clear policies and procedures in your employee handbook that pertain to sick days. Then when an employee calls in sick, they know what to expect and so do you. No one wants a sick employee to show up at the office. It’s bad for them, bad for your company, and bad for the entire team.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that absenteeism costs employers $225.8 billion annually or $1685 per employee. On the flip side, “presenteeism,” or people going to work when they are sick, “accounts for nearly two-thirds of the total costs of worker illness.” Sickness is a vicious cycle and it’s your job to help your team get and stay healthy.
When an employee calls in sick, here’s what you need to do:
- Know your company policies
- Tell them to feel better
- Suggest that they telecommute
- Help to coordinate amongst the team
- Document the sick day
- Check in with employee daily until they are back to work
Employees need to feel that they can call in sick. This should be a part of your company culture. The vast majority of employees will never abuse this privilege, but a handful of employees might try to take advantage of the system. If you suspect an employee is lying to you about being sick, it’s time to take action.
First consult your records too see if there is a pattern to their sickness. Next ask for a doctor’s note. Then have a serious discussion with the employee. If there is a legitimate reason that they are missing work. try to find an alternative solution – like remote work options. If the employee is blatantly skipping work, it’s time to take disciplinary actions. Before you do anything, consult with your legal team to ensure that you comply with any and all laws pertaining to sick days.
When an employee calls in sick, it can be a sensitive issue. Always give them the benefit of the doubt that they are legitimately feeling ill and wish them a quick recovery.