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Sick Leave

What is Sick Leave?

Sick Leave is a form of paid time-off, which employees’ avail to address their mental and physical illness. It helps employees take a break from work and prioritize their overall health.

In India, employees can avail 10 sick leaves in a calendar year, though private companies have flexibility in determining the specific allocation.

Sick Leave Policy in India

acts governing sick leave policy in india

The following acts govern the Sick Leave Policy in India:

  • Shops and Establishment Act
  • Apprentice’s Act, 1951
  • Plantation Labour Act, 1951
  • Working Journalist and Other News Paper Employee’s and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955

Shops and Establishment Act: Under this, sick leave must be a minimum of 0.5 days to a maximum of 7 days of paid leave, and there is a requirement of a medical certificate for leaves exceeding 3 days and cannot be carried forward to the following year.

Apprentices Act (1961): Interns are entitled to 15 days of sick leave annually, with the option of accumulating leave up to 40 days a year.

Plantation Labour Act (1951): The sick leave policy is subjected to company rules and regulations.

Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employee’s and Miscellaneous Provisions Act (1955): Employees are eligible for one month of sick leave for every 18 months of service, with the payment of half of their actual wages.

What are the eligibility criteria for sick leave?

There are no strict eligibility requirements for sick leave, and the criteria vary among companies, industries, and geographic locations.

Example of rules followed by a few companies

Benefit Eligible Employees

  1. Eligible employees receive 13 annual sick leave deposited on the first day of January.
  2. All 9/10-month employees receive 9 days deposited on the first day of January up to a maximum of 60 days.
  3. Fixed-term employees receive annual sick leave from the onset of their contracts.

Non-Benefit Eligible Employees

  1. Temporary hires receive 0.029 hours of sick leave for each hour of work reported. The sick leave period cannot exceed 40 days.
  2. New employees will wait for a probationary period of 90 days before availing themselves of their first sick leave.

How does sick leave support an employee’s work-life balance?

Sick leave contributes to the overall productivity and enhances the work-life balance of the workforce in the following ways:

Paid sick leave reduces the incidences of presenteeism, which decreases the organization’s overall profitability. Reports suggest a common cold alone can cost a business $ 16.6 billion in productivity loss.

It also helps reduce the spread of contagious illnesses, as absenteeism due to flu-like illness costs employers up to 111 million workdays annually.

Organizations witness a lesser turnover rate compared to their counterparts due to a proper sick leave policy.

It also enhances employee loyalty and morale. Connecticut witnessed an increase of 30% in employee morale and 20% in employee motivation.

How should HR handle documentation for Sick Leave requests?

Employees follow a formal process to apply for their leave, which varies from company to company. However, one formal process for requesting sick leave is as follows:

  • Notify supervisors in hierarchical order before submitting a formal request.
  • Present medical records for special leave types.
  • Follow defined procedures based on employee type, employment type, job department, and role.

Are there specific documents required for a sick leave application?

The applicable document for applying sick leave varies among organizations, while the common documents are:

  1. The doctor’s note confirms the illness and the duration of the leave.
  2. Leave application with the name, employee ID, date of joining, the date of absence and other employee details.
  3. Formal mail or letter adhering to company policies.

Wrapping it Up

Thus, a comprehensive and transparent sick leave policy promotes a healthy and productive work environment. Companies can enhance the leave experience of employees by embracing the latest technological tools that make the entire system more efficient, thus benefiting both the employer and employees in the process.

 

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