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Thread: Sick leave

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Sick leave

    As business owners we are guided by the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 1997 when it comes to sick leave.

    And yet the Metrobus strike is over payment for accumulated sick leave? I'm floored.

    So let's make it real simple so that everyone knows where they stand. You get x number of days leave per year's service, and how it is consumed is irrelevant. Sick, compassionate, ordinary. And whatever change over a year's worth can be taken as cash-in-hand. The only exception I would keep out of this arrangement would be maternity leave, which I'd keep the way it is right now.

    This way business has a reasonably predictable productivity (or downtime) budget to work with and we stop this game of "nibbles-away".

    What do you think?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    And yet the Metrobus strike is over payment for accumulated sick leave? I'm floored.
    I don't understand exactly what they are striking about - any idea? I can only guess the company is refusing to pay our sick leave that was taken, but was not valid (either more than 36 days in 3 years, or no valid proof).

    What disturbs me the most is that a small group of people is essentially holding a city (and everything that goes on within it at ransom).

    Wrt leave, I don't feel that our leave system is unreasonable (maybe just too many public holidays? although I would never have said that as an employee ) In our current context with all the AIDS related deaths the number of family responsibility leave days may be too many (3 per annual leave cycle), but that is debatable.

    Side note: This is something I only recently understood correctly so I'm just noting it for everyone. The sick leave cycle works is a 36 month (3 year) period. The employee has 36 days of sick leave in that cycle from the first day of the cycle, i.e. all 36 days can be taken in the first year, but that means no more paid sick leave for the next two years.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsd View Post
    I don't understand exactly what they are striking about - any idea? I can only guess the company is refusing to pay our sick leave that was taken, but was not valid (either more than 36 days in 3 years, or no valid proof).
    By my understanding they're striking to be paid out for sick leave that has not been taken.

    The problem is the rights attitude to sickleave. The employee's view is that it is leave they are entitled to, even if they're not sick. From business it is a concession to alleviate a hardship.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    By my understanding they're striking to be paid out for sick leave that has not been taken.
    But the law is quite clear - you don't get sick leave unless you take it and provide the necessary documents. Couldn't that be construed as a unlawful protest then - I'd love to see the police lock the whole bunch up. If they are linked to the killings (and it seems that they are), then they can all go rot in jail.
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    A number of times we have been approached by staff requesting days off as sick leave, when we tell them it can only be taken when they are booked off by a doctor and can provide a written sick note from the doctor, they claim it is sick leave as they feel "tired".
    One gentleman when refused a weeks sick leave got injured as he was kneeling down behind a vehicle and was bumped when he did not get out of the way. As he was not visible it was unavoidable. He then had a week off recovering from the bruising. He did provide a doctors note, we had to rush him there as an I.O.D.

    Imagine the trouble we are in if everyone knows the are "entitled" to the sick leave even if they are not ill!

    We had one employee who left us after a few months, at which time he had taken the full sick leave and family responsibilty entitlement.

    30 days every 365 from the start of a three year cycle is unfair on the employer.
    I feel that it should be the first two years of employment: 10 days per year, acculumlated to the third year, and then 30 days every 365 after a full three year service period.

    I do know of some companies who pay a bonus when no sick leave is taken!
    Yvonne

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yvonne Symons View Post
    ... they claim it is sick leave as they feel "tired".
    I believe this condition is often described on sick notes as myalgia.
    Myalgia means "muscle pain" and is a symptom of many diseases and disorders. The most common cause for myalgia is either overuse or over-stretching of a muscle or group of muscles. Myalgia without a traumatic history is often due to viral infections. Longer-term myalgias may be indicative of a metabolic myopathy, some nutritional deficiencies or chronic fatigue syndrome.
    It does not take much of a stretch to see that this is a rich source of sick leave privilege abuse. Everyone wins except the business owner. The doctor gets a fee, the employee gets paid time off and the employer is

    I like the idea of a no-sick-leave-taken related bonus.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    I like the idea of people who consider sick leave their right, being given references that say "this person only does the bare minimum!"
    Regards

    Debbie
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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yvonne Symons View Post
    30 days every 365 from the start of a three year cycle is unfair on the employer. I feel that it should be the first two years of employment: 10 days per year, acculumlated to the third year, and then 30 days every 365 after a full three year service period.
    This is incorrect.

    Other than the concessions for new employees, this is what the BCEA says,

    Quote Originally Posted by BCEA
    1. In this Chapter, "sick leave cycle" means the period of 36 months' employment with the same employer immediately following--
      1. an employee's commencement of employment; or
      2. the completion of that employee's prior sick leave cycle.

    2. During every sick leave cycle, an employee is entitled to an amount of paid sick leave equal to the number of days the employee would normally work during a period of six weeks.
    From everything that I've read what that means is, the employee gets 30 days sick leave in every 3 year cycle. Those thirty days become available at the beginning of the sick leave cycle. Any unused days from the previous cycle fall away.

    There are only 30 days sick leave in a 3 year cycle.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    All the above (30 days over 3 years or 10 days per year) is based on a 5 day working week.

    Employers do enjoy some protection during the first six months:
    Despite subsection (2), during the first six months of employment, an employee is entitled to one day's paid sick leave for every 26 days worked.
    But after that the flood gates open until 6 weeks worth of working days have been consumed.

    On the burden of proof:
    1. An employer is not required to pay an employee in terms of section 22 if the employee has been absent from work for more than two consecutive days or on more than two occasions during an eight-week period and, on request by the employer, does not produce a medical certificate stating that the employee was unable to work for the duration of the employee's absence on account of sickness or injury.
    2. The medical certificate must be issued and signed by a medical practitioner or any other person who is certified to diagnose and treat patients and who is registered with a professional council established by an Act of Parliament.
    3. If it is not reasonably practicable for an employee who lives on the employer's premises to obtain a medical certificate, the employer may not withhold payment in terms of subsection (1) unless the employer provides reasonable assistance to the employee to obtain the certificate.

    I suspect Item 3 is aimed at farmers in the main.
    I also note that the medical certificate does not have to specify the nature of sickness or injury
    Last edited by Dave A; 20-Mar-07 at 09:40 PM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    The medical certificate must be issued and signed by a medical practitioner or any other person who is certified to diagnose and treat patients and who is registered with a professional council established by an Act of Parliament.
    Which also now includes traditional healers.....
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