According to UK Business Advisors (UKBA™), the introduction of a good sickness policy by SMEs could prevent holiday abuse by employees. This follows the recent European court decision to allow employees who claim to have been sick whilst on holiday, the opportunity to demand replacement holidays when they return to work, even though the employer may know nothing about the claimed sickness.
Whilst most employees are not expected to misuse this ruling, it is inevitable that some will, potentially causing cost and logistics problems for the employer, and resentment amongst other staff.
The UKBA™ advises employers to easily avoid this situation by the implementation of a good sickness policy. This can be a simple single-page document that puts the onus on the employee to properly report sickness. It does not have to be complicated, just properly prepared.
Patrick Chamberlain, an HR and employment specialist in UKBA™ said “A good sickness policy is very easy to implement, but more difficult to introduce in hindsight when employees are misusing the system. This simple step can eliminate many difficulties for companies and prevent holiday sickness abuse. We recommend that prevention is better than having to look for a cure”.
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Background: Court ruling – On 10 September 2009, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) delivered its judgment in the case of Francisco Vicente Pereda v Madrid Movilidad SA and held that where an employee does not wish to take annual leave during a period of sick leave, he or she must be permitted to take the annual leave at a different time. This means that employees who are taken ill during a scheduled holiday have a choice: they can either take their annual leave as planned, or insist on postponing their annual leave and instead take sick leave.
For further information on this release, please contact Phil Taylor of UKBA on +(44) 1895 622601, fax 0709 231 5207, email firstname.lastname@example.org