Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Claim your sick leave

sick+leaveAs I have pointed out in an earlier post, companies in the UK do not require their employees to produce a doctor's letter, otherwise known as medical certificate, when going on sick leave.

Many companies allow up to five consecutive paid sick leave days before a doctor's letter is required. In fact, many doctors would refuse a request to issue a letter unless a person has been staying away from work for more than that number of days.

Now, when would one consider sick enough to be absent from work then? Metro reported that sick leave costs the British economy £13 billion annually and for each day an employee is absent from work due to sickness, the company is £138 - £156 out of pocket.

That sure sounds quite substantial - unless you consider the alternative of the sick employee turning up for work and infecting everyone else in the office. Trusting employees to self certify their sick leave may be naïve but it sure beats having to deal with a whole bunch of sickies.

The message: If you are sick, stay at home and suffer in solitary. No point crawling into the office just to show your face, which matters somehow in this economic climate, and inflict your pain on everyone else.

Wait till I lay my hands on the person who passed me the flu bug, which confined me to my bed during Christmas...

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Dutchie said...

5 days to sick out in solitary ! What a luxury compared to our first 2 days getting zero pay (to discourage absentees)with random checkups by the institute that pays out our eventual sick leave.

I hv twice experenced this, waiting in anxiety for the doorbell to ring. Being alone, one hv to refrain from going to the loo, take naps or hv a peaceful lie-down just in case we missed the caller n getting a penalty in the process - this being the experience of my colleagues.

Personally I prefer an MC like in Sg. After a visit to the doc, u could sick out in peace !

C K said...

That sounds pretty harsh. Was that in NL? I'm surprised, I thought that Europeans are pretty enlightened about such issues.

Honestly, that sounds worse than S'pore. Back home, I had to get an MC regardless of the fact that I could barely get out of the bed much less join the queue at the local GP.

Dutchie said...

Yes, it's in NL.

In Sg my oil-baron (my boss) allows house visits by a doc if one couldnt get out of bed, otherwise it's straight to the GP where we do hv priority. Makes me realised how fortunate I was, after reading ur account abt MC's in Sg.

On another matter, I just read that the boyz at construction sites r disputing with their bosses abt days off on extreme winter temperatures. There is a law about zero temperature but bosses tend to avoid work standstil by insisting on minus 10 degrees or so. Glad I'm not in that profession !

Martin in Bulgaria said...

Sound advice! Looks like you need a drop of Rakia to cure you.

Get well soon.

lina said...

Such luxury! I still need to crawl out of bed and get my MC. :D
Some people (and some company) do not seem to mind staff infecting others just because they want everyone to report to work because they deemed good staff are staff that turn up to work.

WhiteDuskRed said...

I prefer the MC. It's actually a two-fold system. It forces you to see a doctor if you are really sick, and the MC will let your boss know that you are sick. And if you are the boss, at least you know that your star performer was really sick, and not interviewing at that rival company...