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Sick days off work: how many is too many per year ?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by chaparral, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. MassiveJim

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Feb 22, 2014

    Posts: 1,713

    IANAL but the company I work for is petrified of not doing things by the book, they wouldn't be issuing warnings etc without being absolutely sure that it would stand up in court.

    Every time Bradford is breached there is an investigation meeting, the "offender" is allowed to have representation if required.
    Then this is passed on to a hearing again the offender is allowed representation.
    EVERYTHING is minuted, and signed and filed, blah blah, etc.

    We follow a strict Verbal>Written>final Written>dismissal pattern.
    And if any of the warnings expire, then the next "breach" would go back to a verbal warning.

    And as I said it is worded so that you are not disciplined for being sick, rather "breaching the companies acceptable level of absence"

    Look at it from the companies point of view, you are essentially saying that an unreliable employee taking lots of time off work which is disruptive to the company isn't allowed to be dismissed.
    Why should any company have to put up with that ?
     
  2. XeNoN89

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Mar 6, 2007

    Posts: 7,701

    Location: SW19

    Yep, my point is it doesn't matter because it's just a cold and any normal person can function completely normally with a cold all be it feeling a bit rough.
     
  3. wingman

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 27, 2011

    Posts: 4,625

    We don't get paid sick days at my current employer so unfortunately I would probably drag myself in anyway, regardless of what I'm passing on.
     
  4. Unicorn

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 24, 2011

    Posts: 4,662

    We have a 3 periods of sick before HR Review but you can self certify for 4 days. The downside of this is were on full pay for our sick with no waiting period to get it so if your off for one day you may aswell take the week off as many do so theres no incentive to come straight back. There is some get outs to this though.. If Doctors have signed you off you must see Ocupational health for a review, If they agree with doctor and deem you unfit to work until next OH review the sick period does not count against your 3 as the company have decided not to let u work for whatever reason.

    Every company does things differently, This is the strictest policy iv seen regarding 3 periods of absense but if its genuine your let off basically. So theres alot of human compassion going for us
     
  5. bigmike20vt

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 23, 2006

    Posts: 1,385

    honestly it is threads like this which make me realise how lucky i am. My sick days are all full pay any my boss is very tolerant. It helps that i have been on the same campus for over 20 years i guess but the campus as a whole it would seem has a very fair sick policy.
    (the health insurance is bang on as well - tho my pension is not what it was 3 years ago).
     
  6. chaparral

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 27, 2005

    Posts: 19,177

    another problem is if there a chance of losing you're job from having to many days off sick then workers are going to come into work sick..
     
  7. Unicorn

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 24, 2011

    Posts: 4,662


    Honestly this is how it should be, A lack of investigation and straight to a warning isnt correct imho.
    Our company follows the same setup plus a little more. You can actually be given many final written warnings as long as no two are in the same category i.e Absense, conduct, safety, driving etc.
    The biggest and best companies in uk seem to be ahead of the curve with the correct style of disaplinary procedures and how it should be done. We have no unions but full representation is actually recommended by our own HR department to help you have your side heard or if you miss anything.
     
  8. Roar87

    Mobster

    Joined: May 10, 2012

    Posts: 4,950

    Location: Leeds

    I think I took 2 days off ill last year, you don't need to be physically incapable of working to have a few days off sick, your job isn't that important - and if it is you shouldn't be the single point of failure
     
  9. Werewolf

    Commissario

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 27,435

    Location: Panting like a fiend

    There is also things like do you work with the general public
    Do you work with the general public who are sick
    Do you work shifts.


    IIRC the London Ambulance service used to use the same factor for deciding if someone had too much time off for back office 9-5 staff as for the ambulance crews.

    With the result that Ambulance crews whose immune systems were weakened by their shift patterns (night shifts and alternating shifts have been shown repeatedly to mess with your immune system), constantly exposed to people with infections, constantly doing things that risk back problems were being dealt with the same as staff whose job was to sit in an office away from the public doing a nice routine job.

    One of my friends is a baker and his workplace has a very sensible rule (IIRC enforced by HSE/Food safety people), if he's had any sort of stomach issue be it diarrhoea or vomiting he's not allowed back on the premises for something like 72 hours because of the risk of spreading it, a risk that is also there in most office jobs to a lesser degree but because he's working specifically with food there are legally enforceable rules to follow (as opposed to everyone in an office going down with norovirus because someone came back in too work whilst still infectious because of some inflexible and stupid rule on absences).


    For those that say 3-4 days off a year, or absences is a lot you've obviously either got a very good immune system and are generally quite healthy, or are going into work when you really shouldn't (IE when ill enough to spread it or make yourself worse whilst probably not being very productive).
     
  10. elmarko

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 22, 2011

    Posts: 10,419

    Location: Portsmouth (Southsea)

    Yeah, good points those.

    Really those all need to be factored in along with the above list to create a reasonable view to what an expected sickness rate should be. Being 1 or 10 days off a year could be great or terrible pending on your individual exposure/health & other circumstances.
     
  11. chroniclard

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 23, 2014

    Posts: 11,510

    Location: Hertfordshire

    We didnt get sick pay at the last place and boss tried to strongly offer us it off as a holiday instead.....
     
  12. Haggisman

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 6, 2004

    Posts: 12,655

    Location: Birmingham

    Got caught out by the Bradford factor earlier this year, had flu over Christmas, started getting better before the end of the holidays, so only took a half day off and worked from home for a couple of days. Then ended up developing pneumonia and spending a week in hospital :rolleyes:

    So 2 periods of illness totalling 5.5 days = Bradford Factor of 22

    If I'd stayed off the whole time it would have been a single 8 day period = Bradford Factor of 8.

    I know what I'll be doing next time (hint, it won't be getting back to work when I'm only feeling "mostly" better!!!)
     
  13. bigmike20vt

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 23, 2006

    Posts: 1,385

    As in gave you a bonus days holiday to get around the companies terrible sickness support (in which case good on him)

    or as in trying to pressure you to take off from your own holiday entitlement (in which case, what a ******!)
     
  14. chroniclard

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 23, 2014

    Posts: 11,510

    Location: Hertfordshire

    The latter. In some ways he was tight as hell in others quite generous. Very strange. :)
     
  15. Pyr0m@nI@]{

    Hitman

    Joined: Oct 31, 2005

    Posts: 689

    Location: Merseyside, UK

    I've managed to stay cold/flu free for about 4 or 5 years now.
    We get sick pay, but the end of year bonus is worth more
     
  16. Orionaut

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 2, 2012

    Posts: 6,523

    Ask any self-employed person, especially somebody who is a sole trader! :p

    (You will probabally get much the same answer to the question "How many days Holiday should I take each year!" :D
     
  17. NoobCannon

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 13, 2011

    Posts: 4,328

    Never had a problem with sick but i get 6 months paid sick per year allowance

    Not coming in if you have a cold (sometimes hyped up by wusses and called the “flu”) deserves a disciplinary tbh
     
  18. Haggisman

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 6, 2004

    Posts: 12,655

    Location: Birmingham

    Gotta love when people lump cold/flu together...

    That's like saying "sorry, can't come in today, I've stubbed my toe/broken my leg"
     
  19. Jumper118

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 17, 2012

    Posts: 4,789

    Location: Leeds

    Once is clearly too much. You should be fired for failing to come in and replaced by a machine.
     
  20. dowie

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jan 29, 2008

    Posts: 38,570

    Depends on the context, they certainly shouldn't be blindly issuing warnings because the Bradford factor gives a score of X.

    If someone has a chronic condition that might mean several short periods of time off or maybe a mix of taking half a day off and working form home etc.. then that context ought to be considered rather than blindly applying some formula. If they don't then I suspect that a good employment lawyer can cite his client's disability and tear them a new one if it becomes a serious issue. It doesn't make someone immune from being fired though, I guess the employer needs to take a more holistic approach, see what value they're getting form the employee and if he/she is still meeting deadlines, getting **** done then it shouldn't really matter if they take a day or half day off quite frequently or frequently need to work from home etc.. so long as they're delivering.


    Obviously if someone who doesn't have a chronic condition or similar reasonable explanation keeps on phoning up on Mondays during the summer or after bank holiday weekends with "I've got a bit of flu *cough* *cough*" then that is perhaps another matter and could certainly be something HR might want to have a word about.