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HR 101 – Maintain Control of your Staff – Part 3

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Please note that this pertains to South African Labour and Best Practice requirements.

Continuing from last time here are some additional examples of what staff can get up to at their employers expense if they are not properly managed.

I’ve had two separate clients this year who have staff who abuse sick leave. The one client’s employee took a total of 65 days sick leave over a 12 month period – that is more than double her 3 year allocation – and when we put a stop to that and told her that any further sick leave would be taken as unpaid, she promptly asked for her 3 days family responsibility leave as her son was having a medical procedure done. Her son is 25 years old and the medical procedure turned out to be he had a tooth pulled. Needless to say that leave was also taken as unpaid!

Then there was another client who had a husband and wife team working for him (that is also never a good idea). Both went to the clinic once a month – on different days, but when the wife went the husband had to take her (so he couldn’t come to work) and when he went the wife couldn’t get to work (clearly the buses and taxis don’t work) and then they also expected to get their full quota of sick leave on top of that because ‘it wasn’t their fault that they had to go to the clinic every month’! I guess maybe that they thought it was their boss’s fault! Needless to say, they too have discovered the joys of unpaid leave!

Sick leave and especially excessive sick leave that is not monitored and controlled can cost the company hundreds and thousands and indeed can even cripple a company. Having a proper leave policy in place that clearly states and outlines the consequences of excessive sick leave and ensuring that those consequences are upheld, will go a long way to ensuring that this particular problem does not rear its ugly head. Having a disciplinary policy that also clearly outlines ‘incapacity’ and that consequences of that, also often ensures that staff get to work on a more regular basis.

My father always used to say that no-matter what your job is, you should always do it with pride and it should always be done to the best of your ability. Sadly this no longer seems to apply to people in general anymore. People no longer seem to feel the need to take any kind of pride in the work that they produce and sadder still is the fact that that not only do they not feel the need to take pride in their work but they also seem to feel that employers should be very happy to accept their second and third rate work, whilst paying wages and salaries for first rate expectations. Crazy idea that! Again checklists laying out exactly what must be done and then ensuring that they are correctly signed off will ensure accountability. Again though, it needs to be properly monitored and consequences must be metered out if the procedures are not complied with.

Next time we will have a look at some more examples of what employees get up to when they are not effectively managed.