Just like you, Mettise team members have been battling numerous illnesses in the past few weeks. We’ve just recovered from being out with the flu and nasty stomach bugs, and now we’re facing a possible pandemic with the coronavirus. A PANDEMIC.

With already depleted sick time and PTO accruals, you will likely need to decide how to handle additional employee absences in the weeks to come.

Remember, this isn’t the time to continue stringently applying your current sick leave and unscheduled absence rules. You need to consider putting modified rules in place before the virus strikes.

Questions to Answer

  • How will you handle excessive employee absences related to illness?
  • How will you handle an employee who has to care for a sick family member?
  • Will you still require the same documentation, like doctor’s notes, that you typically do?
  • Do you want to implement a different and temporary leave policy for the months to come?
  • Will you pay employees during health-related absences even if they have exhausted their sick leave or PTO?
  • Could you implement a leave donation plan that allows employees to donate leave to co-workers who have exhausted their paid-time-off benefits?

Are you stressed out yet? Your employees probably are too. Be sure to share any changes to leave policy, consider options to work remotely, and encourage employees to remain calm.

You may also have healthy employees be reluctant to come to work due to fear of contracting an illness. In these situations, you may need to inform the employee that from a legal standpoint, there is little that protects them in this situation and that they are required to come to work despite their fears. Just like with the flu, healthy employees are expected to come to work despite the risks of catching the bug.

Prepare now. Take the time today to consider your policies and update them as needed. And, of course, reach out to Mettise or another trusted HR expert if you need assistance.

by Danielle Ezell