Shorted Sighted Sick Leave Policies

I was a bit put off, but not surprised, to read in the G & M this morning that the Alberta government is instructing employees that during this swine flu season, they no longer will have to provide a doctor's note, after being sick for three days or more. They will however have to swear, in front of a commissioner of oaths, that they were indeed sick.

What was clear from the article was that the Alberta Government, has joined several other unenlightened employers, in making it policy that, in normal times, an employee off sick for three days or more must provide a doctor's note.

I used to argue with employers that such a policy really amounted to an abuse of the health care system and served little else that to intimidate employees who were sick, to come to work. The result is that they spread whatever they have around the workplace making more employees sick.

These last few years when governments claim to be struggling to make sure that a proper level of medical service is provided to citizens, that same government is clogging the system by forcing employees to see a doctor who can do very little more than write a note which says "This patient attended my office and has told me that he/she was sick last week."

The policy is very prevelant in the hotel and restaurant industry which as a matter of course has very little paid sick leave available for employees who are ill. They normally come to work in their jobs as cooks or servers in the restaurants we eat in, sick or not, very efficiently spreading the diseases that we are supposed to be trying to contain.

If governments were really interested in containing potential pandemics, they would mandate, an adequate amount of paid sick leave for every employee in their province.

Don't hold your breath waiting for that.

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