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Sick leave preferences?

radcen

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This question is from the perspective of the employee, not the employer.

If you work for an employer that provides paid sick leave as a benefit, would you rather have a defined benefit (i.e.: 5 days/year, etc.), or an open-ended policy where there is no defined "limit"?

Most companies that I have worked for have a defined limit. Usually 5 or 10 days. If anything longer is needed the employee needs to take vacation, no pay at all, or short-term disability.

The company I work for now has an open-ended policy. There is no limit, per se, which sounds freeing and open-minded, but I feel like it's actually more restrictive than a defined policy. You are still likely to be called in the supervisor's office and lectured if you use what they deem as too much. Problem is, "too much" is a moving target depending on who you talk to. In the interest of full honesty, this happened to me a couple years after I started. In late November I was called in and told I had taken too much sick leave. I had called in 4 days (32 hrs) throughout the year, never 2 days in a row, and only 1 of the days abutted a weekend. My supervisor thought that was excessive. He did admit that he called HR and asked, and they told him my 32 hrs was actually less than average company-wide (we have 10 offices). I felt a little vindicated, but he still felt it was too much.

Personally, I'd rather have a defined policy. Then again, I've always been a "tell me what the parameters are" kind of person.

The cynical part of me wonders if it is done precisely because people, not knowing where the line is, will use less. Granted, I have seen some people who make it a point to use right up to their limit every single year, but that I believe is the odd person out, not the rule.

If you are an employee, or have ever been an employee, what are your thoughts and preferences?
 

ttwtt78640

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I prefer having a fixed amount (5 days) available and any unused days being converted to a year end bonus.
 

11Bravo

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This question is from the perspective of the employee, not the employer.

If you work for an employer that provides paid sick leave as a benefit, would you rather have a defined benefit (i.e.: 5 days/year, etc.), or an open-ended policy where there is no defined "limit"?

Most companies that I have worked for have a defined limit. Usually 5 or 10 days. If anything longer is needed the employee needs to take vacation, no pay at all, or short-term disability.

The company I work for now has an open-ended policy. There is no limit, per se, which sounds freeing and open-minded, but I feel like it's actually more restrictive than a defined policy. You are still likely to be called in the supervisor's office and lectured if you use what they deem as too much. Problem is, "too much" is a moving target depending on who you talk to. In the interest of full honesty, this happened to me a couple years after I started. In late November I was called in and told I had taken too much sick leave. I had called in 4 days (32 hrs) throughout the year, never 2 days in a row, and only 1 of the days abutted a weekend. My supervisor thought that was excessive. He did admit that he called HR and asked, and they told him my 32 hrs was actually less than average company-wide (we have 10 offices). I felt a little vindicated, but he still felt it was too much.

Personally, I'd rather have a defined policy. Then again, I've always been a "tell me what the parameters are" kind of person.

The cynical part of me wonders if it is done precisely because people, not knowing where the line is, will use less. Granted, I have seen some people who make it a point to use right up to their limit every single year, but that I believe is the odd person out, not the rule.

If you are an employee, or have ever been an employee, what are your thoughts and preferences?

I have a fixed 25 days of PTO per year. That's for vacation/travel days, sick days, any other personal days.
 

Hawkeye10

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Take a look around, there is at least one study out there that says that defined is better, because when it is left undefined employees are much more unwilling to use any at all. This makes sense when you consider such things as the politics of the office.

I would want it defined.
 

11Bravo

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I know many companies do that now, combine everything, but I have never worked under that type of system.

Yea. I'm actually on military leave though so that's a little different lol
 

11Bravo

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I know many companies do that now, combine everything, but I have never worked under that type of system.

This system works well with me. I keep track of my days in one system. I think 5 business weeks is a good amount of time taking sickness and vacations. Sometimes I'll just take a Friday off just because.
 

Gaius46

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My first employer had an open ended policy. Take as much as you need. I thought that was a great policy.

Most of my subsequent employers had defined sick time policies ranging from 5 at the low end up to 12 at the high end. The low end sucked but 12 sick days was a good deal.

My current employer did away with the sick day policy altogether in favor of just giving us more vacation time to use as we see fit - for vacation, to cover sicknesses etc. That bumped me immediately from 20 vacation days to 30. As a practical matter since we have a robust work from home policy, unless you're bedridden, you just work from home if you feel under the weather. And if you need to see a doc, most managers that I know, myself included, turn a blind eye to the couple of hours it might take to go to the doctor. Most folks go over and above so I, for one, am not into counting minutes. All in all I think most people are better off now.
 

ttwtt78640

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I have a fixed 25 days of PTO per year. That's for vacation/travel days, sick days, any other personal days.

That would allow working a four day week for over half of the year - cool if they don't mind folks using that option.
 

11Bravo

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That would allow working a four day week for over half of the year - cool if they don't mind folks using that option.

My boss does that most of the year and saves 5 days for sick leave. She hardly travels, and if she does, it's just a weekend.
 

joG

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This question is from the perspective of the employee, not the employer.

If you work for an employer that provides paid sick leave as a benefit, would you rather have a defined benefit (i.e.: 5 days/year, etc.), or an open-ended policy where there is no defined "limit"?

Most companies that I have worked for have a defined limit. Usually 5 or 10 days. If anything longer is needed the employee needs to take vacation, no pay at all, or short-term disability.

The company I work for now has an open-ended policy. There is no limit, per se, which sounds freeing and open-minded, but I feel like it's actually more restrictive than a defined policy. You are still likely to be called in the supervisor's office and lectured if you use what they deem as too much. Problem is, "too much" is a moving target depending on who you talk to. In the interest of full honesty, this happened to me a couple years after I started. In late November I was called in and told I had taken too much sick leave. I had called in 4 days (32 hrs) throughout the year, never 2 days in a row, and only 1 of the days abutted a weekend. My supervisor thought that was excessive. He did admit that he called HR and asked, and they told him my 32 hrs was actually less than average company-wide (we have 10 offices). I felt a little vindicated, but he still felt it was too much.

Personally, I'd rather have a defined policy. Then again, I've always been a "tell me what the parameters are" kind of person.

The cynical part of me wonders if it is done precisely because people, not knowing where the line is, will use less. Granted, I have seen some people who make it a point to use right up to their limit every single year, but that I believe is the odd person out, not the rule.

If you are an employee, or have ever been an employee, what are your thoughts and preferences?

I don't think I ever worked on a job that sick leave was an issue. In 2014 the average employee was sick for 9.2 days. My experience tells me that management will not get sicky with good employees as with poorer ones. But if they do and decide to fire the employee for being ill too often it will not be the given reason.

Personally I prefer someone to stay home, if they are contagious. With flue or a cold people make mistakes and so coming in only increases the probability poor work.
 

reinoe

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This question is from the perspective of the employee, not the employer.

If you work for an employer that provides paid sick leave as a benefit, would you rather have a defined benefit (i.e.: 5 days/year, etc.), or an open-ended policy where there is no defined "limit"?

Most companies that I have worked for have a defined limit. Usually 5 or 10 days. If anything longer is needed the employee needs to take vacation, no pay at all, or short-term disability.

The company I work for now has an open-ended policy. There is no limit, per se, which sounds freeing and open-minded, but I feel like it's actually more restrictive than a defined policy. You are still likely to be called in the supervisor's office and lectured if you use what they deem as too much. Problem is, "too much" is a moving target depending on who you talk to. In the interest of full honesty, this happened to me a couple years after I started. In late November I was called in and told I had taken too much sick leave. I had called in 4 days (32 hrs) throughout the year, never 2 days in a row, and only 1 of the days abutted a weekend. My supervisor thought that was excessive. He did admit that he called HR and asked, and they told him my 32 hrs was actually less than average company-wide (we have 10 offices). I felt a little vindicated, but he still felt it was too much.

Personally, I'd rather have a defined policy. Then again, I've always been a "tell me what the parameters are" kind of person.

The cynical part of me wonders if it is done precisely because people, not knowing where the line is, will use less. Granted, I have seen some people who make it a point to use right up to their limit every single year, but that I believe is the odd person out, not the rule.

If you are an employee, or have ever been an employee, what are your thoughts and preferences?

Your boss is an asshole and an idiot. You need to start documenting everything and you may have to start secretly recording conversations. This might sound paranoid but people of his level of incompetence are trouble waiting to happen. There's no way anyone in their right mind would call HR about someone with 4 absences. Trust me, your manager is trouble and a ****storm in waiting.
 

Winchester

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This question is from the perspective of the employee, not the employer.

If you work for an employer that provides paid sick leave as a benefit, would you rather have a defined benefit (i.e.: 5 days/year, etc.), or an open-ended policy where there is no defined "limit"?

Most companies that I have worked for have a defined limit. Usually 5 or 10 days. If anything longer is needed the employee needs to take vacation, no pay at all, or short-term disability.

The company I work for now has an open-ended policy. There is no limit, per se, which sounds freeing and open-minded, but I feel like it's actually more restrictive than a defined policy. You are still likely to be called in the supervisor's office and lectured if you use what they deem as too much. Problem is, "too much" is a moving target depending on who you talk to. In the interest of full honesty, this happened to me a couple years after I started. In late November I was called in and told I had taken too much sick leave. I had called in 4 days (32 hrs) throughout the year, never 2 days in a row, and only 1 of the days abutted a weekend. My supervisor thought that was excessive. He did admit that he called HR and asked, and they told him my 32 hrs was actually less than average company-wide (we have 10 offices). I felt a little vindicated, but he still felt it was too much.

Personally, I'd rather have a defined policy. Then again, I've always been a "tell me what the parameters are" kind of person.

The cynical part of me wonders if it is done precisely because people, not knowing where the line is, will use less. Granted, I have seen some people who make it a point to use right up to their limit every single year, but that I believe is the odd person out, not the rule.

If you are an employee, or have ever been an employee, what are your thoughts and preferences?

It's been awhile since I've been an employee, but I'd have preferred to just have it fixed and lumped in with other personal days off (which would have meant more vacation for me). I bet I haven't taken 10 days of sick time total in the last 28 years and one of those was for the birth of my older son, younger son had the good grace to be born on Thanksgiving day so I already had a 4 day weekend.
 

Hawkeye10

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It's been awhile since I've been an employee, but I'd have preferred to just have it fixed and lumped in with other personal days off (which would have meant more vacation for me). I bet I haven't taken 10 days of sick time total in the last 28 years and one of those was for the birth of my older son, younger son had the good grace to be born on Thanksgiving day so I already had a 4 day weekend.

Exactly, this idea that the average worker "is sick" 9.2 workdays a year is hilarious, only the very very sickly could be sick that much. I dont even believe that people take that much time off claiming sick, my last ten years working I called in sick exactly 4 times, people like you and me bring the average down.
 

Winchester

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Exactly, this idea that the average worker "is sick" 9.2 workdays a year is hilarious, only the very very sickly could be sick that much. I dont even believe that people take that much time off claiming sick, my last ten years working I called in sick exactly 4 times, people like you and me bring the average down.

I've had 3 long time employees and I do give them 5 days sick leave (I'm generous on the time off and comp time so vacation time isn't an issue). Two of them were sick 5 days a year every year, the other one has taken maybe 3 days off in the last 18 years.
 

Hawkeye10

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The global professional services firm complied data from 2,500 companies across the world, and found that U.K. workers took an average of 9.1 days off sick per year. This was nearly double the 4.9 days U.S. workers took off, and four times as much as their counterparts in Asia-Pacific (2.2 days).
http://www.cnbc.com/id/100886193

Oh, was the 9 days referring to the UK?

2.2 days a year sounds about right so far as actually being sick.

Giving them double at 5 days a year is very generous, employees should appreciate that, but mostly wont.
 

justabubba

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This question is from the perspective of the employee, not the employer.

If you work for an employer that provides paid sick leave as a benefit, would you rather have a defined benefit (i.e.: 5 days/year, etc.), or an open-ended policy where there is no defined "limit"?

Most companies that I have worked for have a defined limit. Usually 5 or 10 days. If anything longer is needed the employee needs to take vacation, no pay at all, or short-term disability.

The company I work for now has an open-ended policy. There is no limit, per se, which sounds freeing and open-minded, but I feel like it's actually more restrictive than a defined policy. You are still likely to be called in the supervisor's office and lectured if you use what they deem as too much. Problem is, "too much" is a moving target depending on who you talk to. In the interest of full honesty, this happened to me a couple years after I started. In late November I was called in and told I had taken too much sick leave. I had called in 4 days (32 hrs) throughout the year, never 2 days in a row, and only 1 of the days abutted a weekend. My supervisor thought that was excessive. He did admit that he called HR and asked, and they told him my 32 hrs was actually less than average company-wide (we have 10 offices). I felt a little vindicated, but he still felt it was too much.

Personally, I'd rather have a defined policy. Then again, I've always been a "tell me what the parameters are" kind of person.

The cynical part of me wonders if it is done precisely because people, not knowing where the line is, will use less. Granted, I have seen some people who make it a point to use right up to their limit every single year, but that I believe is the odd person out, not the rule.

If you are an employee, or have ever been an employee, what are your thoughts and preferences?

i doubt the company policy change eliminating a defined sick leave benefit was intended to work to the company's disadvantage

your first report's belief that four days sick leave annually confirms it

many, maybe the majority of employees, view defined sick leave days as time they are entitled to each year. without a defined amount, they no longer know what they are "entitled" to take

this is one of those issues, allegations of excessive sick leave use, when having union representation can be more than worth the cost of dues
 
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