Sunday, March 05, 2017

Medical leave

The employment law allows a worker to get up to 14 days of medical leave in a year, when they fall sick.

Some employers or HR officers find certain employees are inclined to abuse this privilege. Talking to the employees may help in some cases, but does not work with others. What can they do about these employees?

1. Accept that this is part of the system and close both eyes.
2. Introduce a reward system for employees with low MC
3. Find some reasons to terminate the employees
4. Give all employees 4 extra days of leave and do not grant MC (but the law has to be changed).

I learned 20 years ago, that companies in America practiced option 4. Many companies in Singapore (e.g. SIA) practiced option 2, but was criticised for it.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I think what S'pore companies (including SIA) practice is not Option 2, but rather the inverse of it i.e. penalty system for high MC. 1 or 2 SIA employees (or former employees) have complained about this in social media. My own experience in local companies & stat board/civil service also is that high MC takers usually have low performance rankings leading to low-or-no increment and low-or-no bonus (forget about promotion!). If the employee has other negatives in addition to high MC then the grading may be D or lower and leading to termination if no improvement.

Personally I prefer to have Option 2 i.e. reward for low or no MC. And the reward has to be pretty significant or useful, otherwise no impact and "not worth it" for the individual.

I have written numerous times to my HR (stat board) for such system, but they refuse. Although they didn't say directly, but in-between the lines, I get the feeling that the main reason is to avoid medico-legal implications. E.g. A sick worker comes to work to maintain the "reward" and collapses. Or a sick worker comes in & passes some contagious illness to co-workers etc. Lawyers can say such rewards is an inducement for workers to avoid getting medical help even though they are really sick and thus endangering themselves & co-workers.

fairplay said...

Some employee like to abuse the medical leave benefit and take it the max or whenever they feel like not working on that day. Some take medical leave following certain pattern such as school holidays, adjacent to holidays or weekends etc2. A software should be used to analyse such MC and the result attached to the employee CPF record to inform prospective employer. This should wake up the delinquent from jeopardising his/her career with such bad working attitude.

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