Sick Days

Policy

Category: Human Resources
Subject: Sick Days
Division: Administrative Services
Policy Number: CA.52.01.116
Effective Date: January 30, 2017

POLICY STATEMENT

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) provides paid sick days to eligible employees due to personal illness, non-work related injury, or family emergencies.

SCOPE

This policy applies to all WDGPH employees eligible for sick time. Cumulative sick days apply to unionized employees who are permanent part-time 0.6 FTE.  Refer to the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) Collective Agreement for more details.

SICK DAY ENTITLEMENTS

  • Full time employees are entitled to eight sick days commencing each year as of January 1st.  New employees will have their sick time entitlement pro-rated. Any sick days not used by December 31st each year will not be carried over to the next year and will be lost. Unused sick time is not paid at retirement or separation of employment. 
  • Regular part-time employees are entitled to eight sick days on a pro-rata basis based on their regular scheduled hours per week. Unused sick time is not paid at retirement or separation of employment. 
  • ONA represented nurses should refer to the ONA Collective Agreement for specific entitlement details. Unused sick time is not paid at retirement or separation of employment.    
Interaction with Employees in Receipt of Short-Term Disability (STD) and Long-Term Disability (LTD) Benefits

An employee who is sick for more than three consecutive days may qualify for STD. If an employee becomes disabled prior to or after using all their sick days, the employee should apply for STD coverage (if eligible). 

After an absence of three consecutive sick days, the employee should inform their manager so the manager can follow the STD policy. 

Refer to CA.52.01.115 Short-Term Disability Claims policy for further details on the disability process.

Unionized Employees without STD and LTD Benefits

An employee who is sick for more than three consecutive days who does not have STD and LTD coverage is able to use cumulative sick days on a monthly basis to cover extended sickness. (Refer to the ONA Collective Agreement.)

Medical Documentation Requirement to Support Sick Absences

Medical documentation for absences relating to sick days may be required from employees to:

  • Assess whether an absence qualifies for sick leave;
  • Provide the Agency with an understanding of employees’ current abilities and limitations so that the Agency can provide the necessary accommodations to enable employees to safely and productively return to work; and
  • Enable the manager to identify staffing requirements.

The Agency may request that the employee provide medical documentation after any absence when the Agency has a legitimate reason to doubt the validity of the employee’s absence. For example, if an employee requests a vacation day, is denied and then calls off sick, they may be asked to produce medical documentation supporting that absence.   

Documentation will depend upon the circumstances and what is reasonable to the occurrence and should not contain any private medical information (i.e. sensitive medical diagnosis). Below is a list of potential questions that can be answered by medical practitioners which constitutes best practice:

  • That the medical practitioner actually saw the employee (vs. the employee stated to the medical practitioner); 
  • The employee’s prognosis;
  • The employee’s future prospects and estimated return date;
  • The employee’s capabilities, restrictions and needs for purposes of return-to-work and accommodations; and
  • If the employee’s condition poses a hazard to others at the workplace and if so, what precautions are required (i.e. safety of said employee, safety of other employees).

Managers should contact and work with Human Resources when addressing absenteeism.

DEFINITIONS

Sick Days – Absenteeism occurs when employees do not attend work when they are scheduled to do so. Absences are unscheduled and often occur for reasons beyond the employee’s control. This is referred to as unplanned absenteeism. Examples of unplanned absences may be personal illness, injury, or family emergencies (i.e. sick family member that requires the direct care of the employee, etc.). 

Planned Sick Days – absences due to illness that the employee is aware of in advance of actually taking the time off from work.  Examples of planned absences are medical treatments that may or may not qualify as a disability.

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Corresponding Procedure:  CA.52.02.116 Sick Days

CONTACT FOR INQUIRIES

Manager, Human Resources

APPROVED BY

Director, Administrative Services 


Procedure

Category: Human Resources
Subject: Sick Days
Division: Administrative Services
Procedure Number: CA.52.02.116
Effective Date: January 30, 2017

PURPOSE

Employees are responsible to have normal attendance in order to meet their work requirements. This procedure is to clarify the reporting procedure for employees reporting sick days.

PROCEDURE

  1. Employees are responsible to advise their manager of their absence, whether planned or unplanned. Employees will keep their manager informed of any work responsibilities that will require service coverage. 
  2. Employees will report any planned absences (i.e. medical treatments) to their immediate manager as soon as possible through the Agency’s Employee Self Service (ESS). 
  3. Employees will report any unplanned absences (i.e. personal illness or injury, family emergency, etc.) to their manager as soon as possible for each day absent or as appropriate. In order to ensure their manager is aware of their absence, employees must follow the guidelines established within their program.
  4. Employees are required to report their absence in ESS upon their return to work for their manager’s approval. If the employee is unable to access the ESS they are to contact their manager by email or telephone as soon as possible.
  5. Employees are not required to provide specific personal medical information to their manager but they may be asked to provide medical documentation when reasonable. 
  6. If an employee who is covered by short-term disability (STD) (employees who have a status of greater than 0.8) is absent four consecutive days, they may apply for STD and medical documentation from their doctor will not be requested. The employee’s STD claim will be processed by the disability service provider who will work directly with the employee and their medical practitioner. (Refer to policy CA.52.01.115 Short-Term Disability Claims).
  7. If the manager is unable to reach the employee, a registered letter will be prepared and sent to the employee with a copy to their director and Human Resources. 

Upon receipt of the registered letter the employee (or, if unable due to health reasons, a designate) must contact the Agency within three working days from the date of receiving the registered letter. The employee’s manager should be contacted. If unable to speak to the manager, contact their director or Human Resources.

If the employee (or designate) does not contact the Agency after three working days from the date they received the registered letter, the employee will be considered absent without leave. Employees absent without leave may be disciplined up to, and including, termination of employment. The Agency will take into consideration on a case by case basis extenuating circumstances that may prevent the employee (or designate) from contacting the Agency.

  1. Managers are responsible for monitoring and addressing absences of employees reporting to them including providing support to assist employees in managing their attendance. Managers should contact Human Resources for support in addressing absenteeism issues.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Management will:
  • Understand and communicate the Agency’s attendance management system to their employees;
  • Ensure employees are aware of their sick entitlements and that they cannot be carried over to the following year;
  • Regularly monitor employee sick absences and ensure employee’s absence qualifies as a sick day;
  • Monitor absenteeism within their program and/or division;
  • Take a proactive approach to managing absenteeism in their program/division;
  • Address each employee’s absenteeism and the reasons for their absence on an individual and confidential basis;
  • Work with and support employees who are absent to assist in an early return to work; and
  • Consult with Human Resources for support and resources to resolve attendance issues. 
Employees will:
  • Attend work regularly and report any absence from work as soon as possible following policy and procedure guidelines;
  • Work with management to identify barriers to their attendance at work and cooperate with management to overcome these barriers;
  • Provide  medical documentation when requested by management; and
  • Take reasonable care of their health on an ongoing basis to enable them to attend work.

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Corresponding Policy: CA.52.01.116   Sick Days
CA.52.01.115 Short-Term Disability Claims

CONTACT FOR INQUIRIES

Manager, Human Resources 

APPROVED BY

Director, Administrative Services