Unexpected “sickies” around Easter and Anzac Day

Employees are spoilt this year as there is a small gap between public holidays during April. This means by taking three days of annual leave or ‘chucking three sickies’, employees can enjoy up to 10 days off work.

Employers should plan ahead for those who wish to take annual leave during this time.

But the biggest issue facing payroll is managing unexpected sick days during that period. Employees who do not have annual leave approved around this period, may face major temptations of calling into work sick.

If an employee does call in sick, can the employer request for evidence? The answer is YES! Employers can ask employees to provide evidence for as little as 1 day or less off work.

What type of evidence can you request?

·         Medical certificates from are the most common acceptable forms of evidence.
·         Another type of evidence are statutory declarations.  Commonly used to legally verify names, insurance claims, superannuation matters, and as evidence to support sick leave. A statutory declaration is a written statement which the employee can sign and declare to be true before an authorised witness. Examples of an authorised witness can include lawyers or a Justice of the Peace.
·         An award or registered agreement can also specify when an employee has to give evidence to their employer and what type of evidence they have to give. The type of evidence requested must always be reasonable in the circumstances.
·         An employee who doesn’t give their employer evidence when asked may not be entitled to be paid for their sick leave.

Now that we know the law, here are our recommendations:

·         As soon as possible, communicate to your employees what the normal working days are, and remind employees that we expect them to attend work on the normal working days.
·         Offer your employees the opportunity to take annual leave if they would like a 10-day escape

If an employee does calls in sick, clearly communicate to the employee that you would like a medical certificate or evidence.

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