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  #41  
Old 13 December 2018, 12:29 PM
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Same here in Maryland. IIRC it went into effect this past July and applies to both full and part time workers. Lord knows I've had to use it.
ETA: I don't consider it a sign of weakness if you're sick and need to stay home. I've always had the attitude that if I'm not feeling well, I cannot give 100% to my work and that's not fair to my employer.
(so what the hell are you doing on a message board, Dawn??)

Last edited by DawnStorm; 13 December 2018 at 12:31 PM. Reason: Additional comment
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  #42  
Old 13 December 2018, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Gutter Monkey View Post
dea that some hypothetical slackers might abuse the system overruling the fact that many people genuinely need it.
Indeed. Setting company policy because of something they cannot change (the non zero probability of people abusing the system) is an awful nail to hang policy on..

General rant:

Why not go by the presumption that, in each individual case that the person requiring sick leave is genuine, whilst accepting that some losses (time, productivity,money) may be lost to non legitimate reasons?

If someone is “caught red handed” gaming the system, then fair enough,m but don’t put the onus on the employees to feel like they have to justify their use of a given benefit.

Loss of productivity is a thing that will happen. Don’t make it worse by running your employees into the ground. It will make more people sick, and it will make more people leave. It will only get worse!

[/rant]
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  #43  
Old 13 December 2018, 02:53 PM
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Beachlife! Beachlife! is online now
 
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I've been the head of the operations department at my company for a couple years now. This means that 90% of the employees work for me or report to me in some capacity. Most of these employees are consultants which means that time off work always affects the bottom line to some degree.

Traditionally we have always kept our rates low which makes for tight margins. This has lead us to tightly manage time off and salaries.

What I have been doing since I took over is to push our rates much higher. We still fall below the industry average prices, but this increase has pushed our sales up considerably and increased our profits. With higher profits, I can afford not to care so much about employee time off. As I said before I don't ask any questions about sick time. In addition to this, I allow my employees to figure out what they need when it comes other issues in their life, this includes letting them decide how much time they need for grieving be it family, friends or a pet that they have lost.
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  #44  
Old 13 December 2018, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Errata View Post
It's rampant in certain types of lower paying hourly jobs, or jobs with limited potential for career growth. If you aren't paying enough for professionalism, then then the employees don't have a lot to lose, and worst case they can get another similar low paying job if they're fired. In jobs with high entry requirements and lots of upside potential for their salary, they don't want a reputation for questionable sick days to be the thing that holds them back from a bigger raise or promotion.
Totally agree.

Human nature being what it is, if somebody is being paid x per hour, with no benefits, and feels that they're being treated like a peon, they really aren't going to care that much if they inconvenience the employer by "calling in sick."

And that in turn leads to the employer not trusting employees and being suspicious when they really are sick.

Thanks.

Bill
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  #45  
Old 13 December 2018, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by kitap View Post
Man, I'd be in trouble.
Why would you be in trouble? You get 80 new sick hours every year. If you don't take any in year one, then in year two you'd start with 120 hours (40 of the original 80, plus 80). If you don't take any in year two, you'd start year three with 140 hours (1/2 of the 120, plus 80). The amount of sick leave you'd have would still go up.

Seaboe
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  #46  
Old 13 December 2018, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by UrbanLegends101 View Post
Over on the US Federal side, unused sick leave adds to the work service credit for retirement annuity calculations. It wasn't unusual for a Federal civilian employee to retire with a year or more of unused sick leave hours on the book, which translated to increased annuity calculation.
I know a Firefighter who had this. He worked for a larger urban centre. His union, when he started, had negotiated a robust sick day program to help out firefighters who may be recovering from the effects of the job.

However, fast forward 2 decades, and if firefighters were not injured, they had whole banks of sick days accrued. And as this would impact their pensions, they could not retire these firefighters early in order to end their careers at the appropriate time. They would have been forced to have these firefighters add 2-3 more years of pensionable service to the end of their contract.

So, the city did the next best thing. With the union supporting, gave a window for these guys to use up the sick days. My friend had 2.5 years of sick days banked. As a station Lieutenant, he took over 3 years off (he was still accruing sick days during the time he was using sick days).

Now, he's back to work having had a long time off. For him, it was a great chance to do other things. For others, though, they seemingly have lost their edge and desire for the job.
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  #47  
Old 13 December 2018, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
I've been the head of the operations department

Snip....


have lost.
(basically in response to your whole post)

That is exactly the right attitude to take I think.

I applaud it.

On other posts, As someone from the UK, the concept of ”carrying over” sick day allowance over years strikes me as very odd. As in, I conclude it’s not really sick day allowance is it? It’s actually a holiday entitlement, and I think encourages people not to “spend” their sickness allowance and continue to work when it’s detremental to your health.


Seems very odd to me, I don’t like it!
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  #48  
Old 14 December 2018, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Hans Off View Post

On other posts, As someone from the UK, the concept of ”carrying over” sick day allowance over years strikes me as very odd. As in, I conclude it’s not really sick day allowance is it? It’s actually a holiday entitlement, and I think encourages people not to “spend” their sickness allowance and continue to work when it’s detremental to your health.


Seems very odd to me, I don’t like it!
I think it gives the employee the ability to balance the use of sick leave for legit purposes and not think of unused sick leave as wasted.

My understanding of the banking of sick leave toward retirement calculation was to eliminate that idea of holiday entitlement, that is, if the employee knows the unused sick leave was converted to service time, there was no need to burn it off as used sick leave.

My mentors years back told me that a good plan was to use sick leave as needed, and to use as little annual leave in the first few years of employment, to bank the full 240 hours as soon as possible. That way, the employee had sufficient annual leave on the book and sick leave on the book in reserve. In the context of using sick leave as needed, that I mean abusing sick leave for anything other than medically related absences from work.

Every now and then our agency would post an agency wide note that "named employee" has used all of their sick leave and annual leave, generally taking care of a family member in a serious health situation, asking if any employees had AL they would donate to the employee. I did this a time or two, the donation part, especially if I had use or lose annual leave toward the end of the leave year.

Last edited by UrbanLegends101; 14 December 2018 at 12:12 AM. Reason: adding a few words here and there.
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  #49  
Old 14 December 2018, 01:45 PM
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I guess It’s the concept of

“Banking sick leave toward retirement calculation”

That baffles me. I know what all of those words mean individually, but not all put together like that!

Not a clue what that could mean!
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  #50  
Old 14 December 2018, 01:54 PM
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Hans, when my dad was a postal worker, the idea was that he got sick leave, but if he used it the post office would have to pay a substitute to come in (and not do as good of a job), so they encouraged him to NOT take his sick leave, but counting half of it towards days he had worked when he retired.
At most places I have worked, you get to roll over the sick leave from year to year, but when you left you got nothing for it. This encouraged people to take the sick time when they needed it, since there was no point in having a hundred days just sitting there when you left. I never used to take much sick leave until I had kids, and now I tend to take it when they are sick.
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  #51  
Old 14 December 2018, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Off View Post
I guess It’s the concept of

“Banking sick leave toward retirement calculation”

That baffles me. I know what all of those words mean individually, but not all put together like that!

Not a clue what that could mean!
I can tell you what it means from my buddy's experience.

If one works for 35 years at a job, one would get a 35 year pension. Municipalities budget on that. Included in that 35 years is X numbers of days where the employee is sick and not at work.

If you don't take the sick leave for 35 years, you can have, for example, 3 years of sick leave saved up. Municipalities are unable to compel the employee to retire at 32 years so that their time ends on schedule. Therefore, the employee retires at 35 years, but continues to get paid until 38 years, and gets a 38 year pension (oftentimes 6% more than had that employee retired at 35 years) until they pass away.

This added years with no work output can incrementally impact a small governments budget to the point where it will no longer be able to provide flexibility in short term shifting of finances.

Does that make sense?
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  #52  
Old 14 December 2018, 03:39 PM
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Hans, how much sick leave do you get in a given year?

Leaving the retirement thing out of it: in the USA many of even the people who do get sick leave only get a few days of it. Any major illness may require more time off than that. The idea of allowing at least partial or short term carryover to another year is that the person who was in roaring good health for, say, two years, and genuinely didn't need to use such leave, but came down with something in year 3 that knocked them out for two or three weeks, can accumulate enough sick time to cover it.

This also provides an encouragement not to use it unnecessarily, because you don't know if you'll need it later.

Of course, if the employee's not expecting to be able to stay at the particular company that long, that encouragement doesn't work.

And it does IMO make some sense to put a ceiling on the amount, so the employer doesn't then wind up with somebody taking two or three years off but still being paid; though the smaller the employer is, the more of a problem that is. For a very small employer, having somebody out of work for even a few weeks can pose significant problems (or even a few days, but that is going to happen and needs to be planned for.) [ETA: having some ceiling on the amount, or only having a percentage of the time carry over at least after the first couple of years, would also help encourage people to use it when they do need it; though I don't really see any way of setting up the allowable use to encourage people to use sick leave when they need it that doesn't also encourage them to use it when it's about to run out even if they're healthy. I think that has to be done by other methods: company culture will do it if the job's got a chance to be a long term position, but probably nothing will do it for people expecting that they might be laid off any minute.]

Last edited by thorny locust; 14 December 2018 at 03:46 PM.
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  #53  
Old 14 December 2018, 07:18 PM
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While we're discussion sick leave, we should also mention the Family and Medical Leave Act, which says employees can take up to 12 weeks a year of unpaid leave for medical reasons, either incrementally (random single days, or a week or two) or as a block. Some state laws modify this, and there may be a minimum number of employees required before the FMLA kicks in. There have been rare instances of abuse (the employee who took FMLA leave to accompany a parent to Mexico, for example), but the articles I've read indicate that abuse doesn't happen often.

Seaboe
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  #54  
Old 14 December 2018, 09:01 PM
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To answer everyone in one swoop..

Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
If you don't take the sick leave for 35 years, you can have, for example, 3 years of sick leave saved up. Municipalities are unable to compel the employee to retire at 32 years so that their time ends on schedule. Therefore, the employee retires at 35 years, but continues to get paid until 38 years, and gets a 38 year pension (oftentimes 6% more than had that employee retired at 35 years) until they pass away.

This added years with no work output can incrementally impact a small governments budget to the point where it will no longer be able to provide flexibility in short term shifting of finances.

Does that make sense?
I may be grossly mistaken, but this is not a thing in the UK.

You work x years in a salaried position, you have x years of pension contirubutions. Regardless of the amount of sick days taken.

deducting retirement benefits based on the amount of sick leave taken is not a factor, unless, you exceed your annual allowance in a particular year and a recalculation of the paid salary is made.

It’s kind of shocking that it is a thing that is interpreted as “Normal” (I suppose analogous to Socialised Healthcare and other employee rights)*

* i don’t propose a debate on any of these issues, Just to point out that it seems, to us, like a bit of a crappy way to treat employees.


To answer Thorny I get no sick leave as I am (for want of a better term) self employed. When I was salaried it was 13 weeks on full pay and another 13 weeks on half pay. (With reviews with your employer during these periods)

The explination given by UEL (And thank you for that) Is the equivalent in the UK of discretionary time off/sabattical time and not of sickness benefit.

Very interesting!
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  #55  
Old 14 December 2018, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Hans Off View Post
I guess It’s the concept of

“Banking sick leave toward retirement calculation”

That baffles me. I know what all of those words mean individually, but not all put together like that!

Not a clue what that could mean!
UEL's explanation is interesting, but I think that is the kind of abuse that was eliminated in the US Federal government. Okay, abuse might be a bad term, but normally for long term sick leave use, it has to be medically documented, not simply a reward for simply not using sick leave along the way.

On the US Federal side, we earned four hours of sick leave per pay period, so at the end of the first year of employment, a Federal civilian employee would have 104 hours at that point.

Federal civilian retirements are calculated at a given percentage per year of creditable service, that is, each year is worth a certain percentage. Federal civilian retirement systems have changed over the years, so the percentage per year varies depending upon which retirement system the employee is under.

Say an employee get 2% per year, at the end of 35 years, their retirement would be 70% of their high-three average salary. But unused sick leave is added, essentially, 8 hours adds a day to the years of service. This isn't the exact calculation, but if an employee has 2087 hours of sick leave on the book, that would add one year to the service calculation, so that person with 35 years would get 36 years at 2%, 72% vice 70% of the high three average salary for the retirement amount.

Unused annual leave was a cash payout at the salary level of the employee at the time of retirement.
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  #56  
Old 14 December 2018, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by UrbanLegends101 View Post
But unused sick leave is added, essentially, 8 hours adds a day to the years of service. This isn't the exact calculation, but if an employee has 2087 hours of sick leave on the book, that would add one year to the service calculation, so that person with 35 years would get 36 years at 2%, 72% vice 70% of the high three average salary for the retirement amount.
This. This is the bit that is absolutely alien to us, and by logic, I am sure that (g)you cannot understand what is so hard to grasp about it.

It’s just not sick leave. Then point of sick leave/sick pay, is that you can take time off to get well without it affecting your salary or pension contributions or other employee rights in any way.

For example, in the UK you can fall sick during time booked off for holiday, and claim that holiday entitlement back and log it as time off sick, then use the holiday entitlement back at another time.
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  #57  
Old 15 December 2018, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by UrbanLegends101 View Post
UEL's explanation is interesting, but I think that is the kind of abuse that was eliminated in the US Federal government. Okay, abuse might be a bad term...
Yeah, it was an employee entitlement that became a significant financial liability when far more time was banked than originally expected.

That was why the city was taking measures to eliminate the liability and have people take their sick leave.

As far as I know now, there is a far different sick leave programme in place now.
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  #58  
Old 15 December 2018, 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Hans Off View Post
This. This is the bit that is absolutely alien to us, and by logic, I am sure that (g)you cannot understand what is so hard to grasp about it.
I guess I can understand why it might be a bit hard to understand, but I understand CSRS (Civil Service Retirement System) employees have been getting full credit for their sick leave in computing their pensions since 1969.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Off View Post
It’s just not sick leave. Then point of sick leave/sick pay, is that you can take time off to get well without it affecting your salary or pension contributions or other employee rights in any way.
Yes, that is the primary intent of sick leave. What I think happened is that many people were found to abusing sick leave, that is, claiming sick leave for one or two day absences from work instead of using annual leave and by being able to have unused sick leave credited to service time, there were be far less incentive to abuse sick leave.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Off View Post
For example, in the UK you can fall sick during time booked off for holiday, and claim that holiday entitlement back and log it as time off sick, then use the holiday entitlement back at another time.
I believe on the Federal side, that can be done, as well. Many employees don't bother, especially if they figure they will have use or lose annual leave, so why use sick leave and then lose the annual leave at the end of the leave year.
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  #59  
Old 15 December 2018, 02:20 AM
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My office used to have no formal limit to sick days, but formalized it to 2 weeks per year, with no rollover to the next year if you don't use it. Most people never come anywhere close to using it all. I doubt I've taken 10 sicks days over the past 10 years combined. The company does have free flu shots, which may help. If people are not sick enough to be debilitated, but are worried about contagion, they will often just work from home for a while, which doesn't count against sick leave.
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  #60  
Old 15 December 2018, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Hans Off View Post
When I was salaried it was 13 weeks on full pay and another 13 weeks on half pay.
Wow. That is a lot.

No wonder it doesn't accumulate from year to year. It doesn't need to. Somebody who's too sick to work for more of the year than that really can't do the job.

In the USA, even for those who get sick leave, it's liable to be a whole lot less than that:

Quote:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, all full-time private sector employees have an average eight days of paid sick leave available to them after one year of service, 8.7 days after three years, 9.5 after five years, 10.3 after 10 years, 10.5 after 15 years, 10.8 after 20 years and 10.9 after 25 years.
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