Insisting on a doctor's certificate from an employee who's had one day's sick leave smacks of an idea that hasn't been thought through.
I've managed staff in organisations where, if you were absent for more than three days, a doctor's certificate was required. So, staff with really bad flu turned up at work on day four - as sick as the proverbial parrot - only to be sent straight home again by me, but not before they'd distributed potent viruses round the office.
Insisting staff get a doctor's certificate, even for three days, means the person has to spend time in the doctor's waiting room (more germs) for an illness that the patient knows has to run its course.
GPs are run off their feet at this time of the year so a consultation merely to get a certificate wastes time and money.
I agree with James Adonis, writing in Stuff, that presenteeism is a much bigger problem than absenteeism. You get more points for soldiering on at work with colds and flu, ensuring that you share the viruses with not only your colleagues, but their families as well.
Managing staff with health problems
- Insist that staff who are obviously ill - particularly if they are coughing and sneezing - go home. This gives them a chance to recover and reduces the likelihood of spreading germs.
- Staff who are ill and at work are likely to make mistakes which may be expensive to remedy.
- Staff may be well enough to work a few hours from home, using webmail, etc, without having to travel and indulge in more germ sharing.
- Parents with sick children are better off at home with them: although they may be physically present at work their mind is with their child and mistakes are possible.
- If staff have exceeded their sick leave allocation, and are having frequent days off, it can be a symptom of other problems. Are they being bullied? Are there problems at home? Do they need some additional support?