What you need to know about fake sick leave

There’s a whole “wiki-how” article with thorough instructions about faking illness and calling in sick. The advice is so deep and elaborate that method actors should envy it. Turns out, this sort of advice is quite in demand. 35-40% of employees call in sick when they are feeling just fine at least once a year.


Of course, they are usually allowed to have a certain number of sick days per year. But when you provide them with this possibility you only aim for honest keeping their own germs at home without sharing them with the coworkers. You don’t expect them to go shopping, to visit gyms or to spend time with their friends.


At the same time, only 30% of managers really check in to see if there really was a reason for a sick leave. What this means in numbers is that these lies cost you at least 0.2% of your total salary fund every year (and that’s the most optimistic number calculated by HR software programs, provided your staff is incredibly honest). Even if your definition of being sick is much broader than a runny nose or a food poisoning and includes taking care of sick family members, you still hired these guys because there’s work to be done. And that’s already about lost profits.


Fighting the pretenders


There are two ways to treat the situation. The first one would be to leave everything as it is, to provide the employees with a certain degree of freedom to take days off without having to explain anything. This is especially the case if you work with creatives, who really need to meditate once in a while merely not to kill each other. It will even be reasonable to automate the procedure of calling in sick with the cloud HR software like the Time and Attendance module of Lanteria HR. In this case, they’ll be able to simply fill in the online form and recover from the creative stupor calmly.


The other way is to take control of the situation and keep the wasted money for the company. Simply check if the employee’s sick call is legitimate. That could take not more than a minute - check his or her facebook timeline. Most of these liars fail stupidly posting in social media. Or you can just call back in some time to mindfully ask how he or she feels. You could also ask for a doctor’s note, keeping in mind that faking this sort of documents is a crime.


However, rigorous control of the sick leaves may result in a slightly different problem. Knowing that she has a very limited number of sick leave days per year our hypothetical employee may find it appropriate to attend the office after she caught cold. While her red teary eyes will demonstrate how dedicated she is and how she adores the company mission, she may make a bunch of other people feel unwell, resulting in multiple sick leaves. So try to find a compromise between being suspicious of every calling in sick and leaving the matter without the control.


It will be easy to see if any of your co-workers overuses your trust with the HR software solutions. When choosing one, make sure it is capable of demonstrating the actual time off for every employee.

When in doubt, calculate the Bradford’s factor - for example, Time and Attendance solution by Lanteria HR automatically processes the sick leaves data and highlights the cases that require your attention. Even if you decide on keeping your eyes shut about it, you will still be able to see how much your company spends on liars.


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