Posted August 20, 2018
As we wind down out of peak flu season, many business owners are starting to get a bit sick (excuse the pun!) of staff calling in the morning of their shift to say they’re unwell. While most staff are usually pretty good, many salons will know that there are just some employees who like to push the boundaries of “sick” for the sake of a day off.
So what evidence do you need from your staff for them to qualify for a sick day?
We all believe that you need a medical certificate to take a sick day, but it’s not a requirement. The National Employment Scheme does not specify the type of evidence that needs to be provided to allow sick leave, just that the evidence required needs to satisfy a reasonable person. Generally speaking, medical certificates and statutory declarations (signed by a JP) are examples of the kind of evidence required by employers.
Medical certificates are able to be provided by both doctors, nurses and pharmacists to justify any absence from work for sick leave but are not applicable for other types of leave like sick leave. There is no requirement for any medical certificate to state the actual condition from which your employee is suffering,
Backdated medical certificates are also valid, particularly if the illness or injury is longer – if a staff member breaks their leg for instance, they may not receive their doctors certificate for some days after the injury occurs and it will be backdated to the initial time of injury.
Most employers will only request for a medical certificate if a staff member is going to be away for more than one day, but you are completely entitled to request a medical certificate from your team for any length of illness. This is where having a strong salon policies and procedures manual comes in handy – all of this information should be outlined in that manual for your team, so they understand exactly what is expected of them.
An employee must let their employer know as soon as possible that they are taking sick leave, ideally before the morning of their shift so that their workload can be covered. When giving notice of taking sick leave, an employee should also specify how long they think they will need to be away from work so that you can plan around their illness.
If you believe that your staff member has lied to you about a sick day or falsified any documents, we are entering into the realm of a serious accusation. Challenging the validity of a medical certificate is difficult to do, as the employer must suspect, prior to the sick day, there has been dishonesty on the part of the staff member. Most salon owners won’t tolerate this kind of behaviour, and so challenging a medical certificate becomes difficult to do without prior issues with the staff member. If you do have a staff member whom you suspect of dishonesty, speak to the team at HABA about ways to manage the situation best for your salon.
FAILURE TO COMPLY
If your staff member fails to provide you with evidence documentation after being asked for one, then your staff member may not be entitled to their sick leave pay.
Sick leave can really quickly turn into an issue of trust and respect within the workplace. If you think that your staff member is taking unfair advantage of you as a business owner and you cannot trust them, then that is an issue bigger than them taking a day off for sick leave – they simply might not be the right fit for your salon. You have to have trust in your team to have a well-running salon, and at no time is that more important than when your team are asking for time off.
If you suspect that you are being duped by a member of your team, speak to the team at HABA today and we can help advise you on the best course of action for your particular case to ensure that your business doesn’t suffer from a bad case of the winter blues. Get in touch by calling our team on 02 9221 9911 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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