Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Partner - Risk Management
Chief Legal Consultant
Recruitment/talent Acquisition, Career Counselling
Soft Skill Trainer / Hr Consultant - India
Retired From Air India
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Hi, I am the HR Manager in US Staffing firm. Can anyone please suggest how they handle the situation, if employees are taking too many sick leaves?
28th May 2015 From India, New Delhi
First discuss with management about the incidences of sick report cases and frequency.
Whether there were genuine or not can be found out by referring the MC to company doctor for his opinion.
If any MC is found to be fake or excessive in duration after company doctor expresses his opinion,the employee can be counselled as to effect of fake certificates on his career progression.
I am sure message will filter through and with support of HODs ,this MC disease can be controlled by firm counselling and advisory sessions.
Last resort disciplinary action can be thought off.
29th May 2015 From India, Pune
Ms. Sonia !!
Greetings of the Day, In our opinion first & foremost requirement is to find out the root cause of this practice, being adopted by employees. Then try to remove or improve that Root Cause taking management into confidence, though this may test the nerves of Ur HR Cell.
Alternatively some policy can be framed with the approval of Management where incentives for such employees can be given who follow the framework of Company's leave rules & remain present throughout the year, by way of rewarding their loyality towards Company. Its almost similar to the practice as being adopted in Govt. Sectors, where loyal & excellent employees r being rewarded during annual functions.
Hope these measures will surely take care in solving ur problems of Sick Leave cases.
For more information, feel free to call at 0967 2616 784
29th May 2015 From India
Dear Sonia,

I can understand your problem. Unplanned absence of employees breaks the continuity of the work. I could dissatisfy the customer also. Other learned members have raised their queries on your post or given suggestion also. However, I would like to ask few more questions.

Do you have leave policy in your company? If yes, then what is the structure? How many days one can avail of earned leave and how many days sick leave? Is sick leave part of earned leave?

What is the percentage of unplanned absence?

Do you have concept of Leave Without Pay (LWP)? What is the ratio of LWP per person per month?

What is the manpower attrition rate in your company? Do you conduct the exit interviews? Has anything emerged in the exit interviews?

As a matter of suggestion, I can suggest that you may start "Attendance Bonus". If the employee attends the work on all the working days, he/she becomes eligible for the attendance bonus. In case if he/she does not attend the work even for half-day, he/she foregoes the bonus. This forfeiture of bonus should be applicable even when employee applies for the leave well in advance. Attendance bonus could increase your salary bill but it may be considered this as the business cost.

Second suggestion is on automation. Your primary cost is employee cost. Can you automate your processes to as to reduce this cost? Banking sector is going for automation in a big way. State Bank of India (SBI) has started complete human-less branch in Mumbai. Other banks are following suit. Can you do something similar?


Dinesh Divekar

29th May 2015 From India, Bangalore
If an employee who is really sick, suggest him to leave the organization with honorary financial support. But if they are lying on the ground of sick, take appropriate disciplinary action against the culprit.

29th May 2015 From India, Mumbai
Sonia, I had asked a question that seem to have disappeared from the posts. Are these people posted in USA or in india ?
30th May 2015 From India, Mumbai
Sonia, before answering your queries, being in HR, you should know one simple thing. There is nothing called LEAVES... The leave in an organisation has no plural. Only leaf on the trees have plural which is generally called Leaves... You can call it as Leave of Absence or number of days of Leave. That is all. I know many people in various cites, domain areas, make this awful mistakes. Wherever possible, despite earning their curse, I try to correct them.
Best wishes
30th May 2015 From India
Dear Shri Sundaram,
I absolutely agree with what you have pointed out-leaves.
This is but one example of poor English seen in the respected forum.
While I do agree that English is not our mother tongue,but the way posts are put up-improper words,incomplete sentences leaving other members to guess while replying.
Many posters have taken up to using SMS language,while posting queries.
All this lowers quality of answers because those who answer often have to guess-than poster meant this or that while replying/
If quality and clarity of queries increase,answers will also improve and knowledge will spread to those use the forum as a one stop for many HR problems.
Then there are certain members who want to encourage stock trading,shorting the market,earn money by copy paste.
The genuineness of the posts and offers are really open to question.
Ideally posts related to HR only should be permitted on the forum.
30th May 2015 From India, Pune
Dear Mr NK Sundaram,
Thanks for putting forth the important mistake. This forum needs seniors like you who keep on correcting the juniors.
The error had escaped from my attention also. Earlier I too use to correct the mistakes but rather than appreciation, I started receiving the brickbats. Thereafter, stopped at pointing out the mistakes. Now I am accustomed to flood of errors.
Quality of post reflects individual's self-esteem. Nothing can be done about it.
Last but not the least, two days passed since the post has come up. So many seniors have given their views or raised further queries. However, poster of this post does not deem it fit to reply. Non-communication also speaks volumes.
Dinesh Divekar
30th May 2015 From India, Bangalore
Hi Sonia, You can also do 1 thing whenever medical or sick leave is repeated ask for the medical document and do verification for the same. This trend is common in US Staffing & BPO industry. Thanks.
25th July 2015 From India, Delhi
Hello Saswata Banerjee,
They would be based in India--typical of BPOs.
And since it's related to USA, the employees would be working in US time-zones from India.....basically late-evening/night shifts.
@ Sonia.Kapoor--
You have mentioned the problem/issue.
But you haven't mentioned what has been done SO FAR by you or the organization. Those details would help the members to skip such suggestions AND look @ the issue from OTHER perspectives. I am sure you would tried-out at least some of the suggestions suggested by the members here.
I guess you also need to value OTHERS' time.
25th July 2015 From India, Hyderabad
Very often employees apply for leave on medical grounds in piecemeal that too for short period viz 3 days stating reasons as fever etc. In some organisations
The employees are advised to put sick leave for minimum five days based on medical certificate / fitness certificate issued by a registered Medical practitioner and allowed to rejoin duty based on the above Certificates. In case there is frequent application of leave on medical grounds, then such cases are referred
to the Medical Board for opinion. The maximum period allowed will be determined based on such opinion.
R P Ramanathan
25th July 2015 From India, Coimbatore
I appreciate the suggestion by Dinesh-ji regarding attendance bonus.Surely it would be a motivator and bring down incidence of absenteeism on medical grounds . However , i would like to point out that the way the organisations make their employees work these days , there is no wonder that it becomes a strain for them. My niece has joined a Central Research lab recently and during interview itself the candidates were told that working hours are 9 A.M. TO 9 P.M. ! Similarly my nephew has to work for twelve hours, and all this without any overtime.Add to this the time spent in journeying to and fro to work place and it makes it two thirds of a day ! It appears that all laws/rules/regulations regarding work hours are blatantly violated , perhaps because ours' is a employers' market.In the US however President Obama has recently made it compulsory for employers to pay overtime to staff detained beyond permissible work hours.Coming back to the query raised , in the organisation where I worked ,we had a system by which an employee taking three days or more of sick leave had to get a medical fitness certificate from company's doctor.This proved to be a deterrent for habitual offender.In extreme cases of absenteeism on medical grounds a medical board used to be formed to assess the employee's fitness to continue in his/her job and in rare cases services were terminated.



25th July 2015 From India, New Delhi
Dear Sonia,
A High Leave consumption for medical reasons requires attention on few pointers mentioned below:
1. Leave policy of the organisation - The no of days alloted , process of application , approval and documentation process.
2. Communication to the co - workers through various channels ( Mailers , Connects , Soft boards Display of Policies) to understand the process and implications of exceeding the count alloted.
3. Detailed study of working conditions and worklife balance.(Survey to understand the pulse)
4. Recognition Framework to appreciate employees with less usage of the leave benefit.
I hope this helps.
26th July 2015
""My niece has joined a Central Research lab recently and during interview itself the candidates were told that working hours are 9 A.M. TO 9 P.M. ""

Doesnt this violate working hour rules.

Presently it is 48 hours a week.

"" It appears that all laws/rules/regulations regarding work hours are blatantly violated , perhaps because ours' is a employers' market.""

There are thousands and thousands of degree holders.

Even highly qualified people work as peons etc in Government departments along with 10th standard pass colleagues.

MBA, PhD degree holders apply for peons' jobs in Rajasthan university

This is a result of the booming population and education industry mass producing graduates with no technical skills.

The point is that regardless of rules on leave ,there will always be a segment who would be absent,fall sick at the right time.

We can only try and control it from time to time and case to case.
26th July 2015 From India, Pune
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