Posted 3 years ago - by

3 Tips on How to Properly Navigate Coronavirus Sick Leave Policies

The current pandemic is still on-going and the effects it has had on the workplace will continue to linger long after. With the introduction of the CARES ACT came several responses on the local level, that echoed the need for mandatory flexible paid sick leave policies.

These new changes and mandates are coming fast and are heavily loaded with new information/regulations. Although it may be daunting to keep up with all these changes, it is important to stay informed and up to date in order to avoid making crucial mistakes.

1. Compare current regulations with federal and local updates

Some of the new mandates may have temporarily changed or adjusted practices and procedures that you have already grown accustomed to. For example, you cannot require a doctor’s note to verify they have COVID-19 or any related symptoms/conditions under some of these new mandates. Requiring a medical certification could further tax emergency rooms and urgent care facilities and unnecessarily risk employees to exposure.

The timing of when paid leave is expected to be paid out has also been altered on some of these new regulations. Make sure that you are clear on this new timing. Missing a payment by accident or due to an oversight, can result in a violation of these new rules.

2. Create and update your response plan with consistency

If you have not done so by now, it is necessary to put together an infectious disease preparedness and response plan. It has become standard to wear masks and wash hands regularly, but it is important that those types of efforts are written down. Having a plan together can help guide protective actions against COVID-19 and help make the workplace notably safe for employees.

Any modifications or creation of policies must be consistently enforced to avoid any discrimination or unfair treatment. To ensure everyone is on the same page, all decision-makers should be aware of any temporary or permanent modifications.

3. Prevent sick workers from reporting to work

The CDC encourages employers to actively encourage sick employees to stay home by practicing the following:

  • Instruct employees to stay home if they have symptoms of acute respiratory illness, a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, or signs of a fever. To be able to return to work, employees should be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication.
  • Encourage employees to notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick for any reason.
  • Ensure that their company’s sick-leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that their employees know these policies.
  • See to it that contractors and staffing agencies likewise encourage their employees to stay home when ill and that business partners provide sick leave to workers who need it.
  • Refrain from asking employees with acute respiratory illness to provide a doctor’s note to verify their illness or to return to work.
  • Implement flexible policies that let employees to stay home to care for a sick relative.

Payroll Systems can help you focus on your operations by helping you with your workforce management and payroll needs. Our integrated and automated human-supported HR and payroll solutions are easy to scale to suit your specific needs at specific times.

 

 

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This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.