Sick leave is not only exclusively payable upon presentation of a sick note. It is important that employers remember that employees can take sick leave for at least two days, without having to provide the necessary sick-letter or note from a doctor or clinic. Only when the employee is sick for three days or longer or on more than two occasions during an eight-week period, may the employer request a medical certificate/sick letter.

Keep clear records to demonstrate that sick leave is being granted – for example, some employers maintain a sick leave register which indicates the days that employees are recorded as being absent due to illness/injury. This can be easily cross-referenced with pay records for that period to indicate whether the sick leave has been paid or not. A sick leave register is also a good way of tracking absence to identify trends. Also make sure to include the rules around sick leave during induction to allow employees to understand the necessity to only utilise sick leave when it is needed.

For more information, see the SIZA Social Standard, code requirement 8.2.5: