When verifying the correctness of the use of sick leave, the situation must be read very skillfully – so that no employee is harmed by an incorrect assessment of facts. However, even when a conservative approach is applied, an average of 10% of sick leave is used improperly.
The Social Insurance Institution picks sick leave for inspection randomly but also inspects at the request of a contribution payer – i.e., an employer. This approach happens to be ineffective, because such process may take too long to effectively check short-term sick leaves. An employer with over 20 employees can also do such checks himself or delegate this task to an external provider – such as Qualitime.
The most common violations are as follows:
- providing an incorrect address on a sick leave certificate (the employee is obliged to provide the certificate issuer with the address where he will be staying and to inform the employer of any changes in this respect),
- absence of an employee at the address indicated on sick leave cerfiticate,
- performing other paid work,
- performing activities that delay recovery (eg cleaning windows despite spine issues, using sick leave to make time for house renovations)
- using sick leave to look after a child when there are other individuals present at the household who can provide such care.
When a Qualitime auditor identifies an infringement, he will prepare a report. An employee has the right read the report and mark comments.
Inspection results, together with the report, are then delivered to the employer. If the employer considers the absence unjustified, he has grounds to withdraw remuneration for the time of unjustified absence. The employer can also demand remuneration to be returned, if paid out prior to identifying an infringement. Disciplinary consequences may also follow, including termination of the employment contract on disciplinary grounds.
It is worth remembering the rules of proper use of sick leave to avoid unpleasant consequences. If you want to learn more, we encourage you to visit the “For employees” section.