Sick leave is time off from work that employers provide employees when they are ill or injured. Some common reasons employees use sick leave are mental illnesses like anxiety, depression or stress, contagious diseases, medical appointments, hospitalizations, etc. Whether it is viral fever, season-changing flu, or something serious, workers need time to take care of themselves when they are ill. That is why the sick leave policy makes sense for everyone.
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Things to know about sick leave
In the US, most employees get paid sick leaves. According to the survey, around 75% of workers get paid sick leave. The FMLA or Family and Medical Leave Act covers employers to provide unpaid, job-protected leaves to employees for specific medical reasons. Also, the temporary COVID-19 law provides paid coronavirus sick leave for some US employees affected by the pandemic. In certain states and localities, employers offer paid sick leaves for employees who qualify, so it is important to check with local worker offices in the area where your company does business.
Difference between paid time off and sick leave
Some companies give their employees particular types of leave, such as vacation, sick, and personal days leave. Each leave should be used for the mentioned purpose. Some employers mention these forms of leave as paid time off (PTO). Under these, sick leave is the permitted use of an employee’s PTO.
Even if the employee is on PTO leave, they may decide to come back to work anyway with necessary precautions to avoid spreading the disease.
How does sick leave work?
Different companies have their own ways of administering sick leave. However, every sick leave policy should include the following.
- Who is qualified for sick leave?
Is the sick leave available only for full-time workers, or are the temporary and part-time employees covered too? How long should the employee work to avail of the sick leave?
- How long can they avail of sick leave?
It depends on the sickness and whether the person is allowed to use the unused sick in the following year.
- How will be the sick leave paid?
Employers who give paid sick leave generally pay the employee’s rate, excluding holiday pay, overtime, tips, or other premium pay, unless an agreement or contract says otherwise.
- How will the employee notify the employer about the sick leave?
Does the employee have to contact HR, the supervisor, or both? Should the employee make a call, or is an email sufficient? Is there any kind of deadline?