How Should Businesses Handle a Long-Term Employee Absence
When an employee is out for an extended period of time, it can create a stressful situation for both the business and the coworkers.
It can be difficult for businesses to know how to handle a long-term employee absence. On the one hand, you want to be understanding and accommodating to your employee’s needs. On the other hand, you also have to think about what’s best for the business.
Here are a few key things businesses should remember when handling a long-term employee absence.
Why employees might take an extended leave
There are several reasons why an employee might need to take an extended leave of absence from work.
Serious physical health issue: A prolonged illness or injury can prevent an employee from being able to work.
Caring for a sick family member: Employees may need to take time off to care for a sick spouse, child, or parent.
Pregnancy and childbirth: Many women need several weeks to recover after giving birth.
Bereavement: Employees may need time off to grieve the death of a loved one.
Personal problems: Sometimes, employees may need to take an extended leave to deal with personal issues, such as mental health issues or struggles with drug abuse.
What are the options for businesses?
Businesses can consider several options to accommodate an employee who needs an extended leave and still keep the business moving forward.
Paid leave: If an employee has accrued paid time off, they may be able to use this time to cover their absence.
Short-term disability: Some businesses offer short-term disability insurance, which can provide employees with income replacement for a certain period.
Unpaid leave: One option is to allow the employee to take an unpaid leave of absence. This option can be beneficial for businesses because it doesn’t require them to pay the employee’s salary. However, it can be difficult for employees because they may not be able to afford to take unpaid time off.
Reduced hours: Another option is to allow the employee to work reduced hours. When employees work reduced hours, they may be able to continue to receive some income while also having the time they need to deal with their personal issues.
Hiring a temporary replacement: Businesses may want to consider hiring a temporary replacement for the employee on leave. Hiring a temporary worker can help ensure that the business can keep running smoothly.
Job sharing: A third option is to allow two or more employees to share a single job. This option can benefit businesses because it allows them to continue paying the employee’s salary. It can also be beneficial for employees because it allows them to continue working.
What are the benefits of an extended leave?
Businesses can experience numerous benefits when they allow employees to take an extended leave of absence.
Increased productivity: Often, when employees are able to take some time off of work, they can return rested and refreshed. This can lead to increased productivity.
Feel respected: When employees are able to take an extended leave, they might feel more respect for their employer. They might feel more job satisfaction and loyalty because their employer accommodates their needs.
Higher turnover: Employees who cannot take an extended leave may be more likely to quit their job. This can lead to increased turnover.
Decreased turnover: Employees who can take an extended leave may be less likely to quit their job, which can lead to decreased turnover.
What are the drawbacks of not offering extended leave?
If a business decides not to offer extended leave to their employees, there are a few drawbacks they should be aware of.
Increased stress: Not being able to take the necessary time off can cause a lot of stress in employees, which can reduce their productivity
Increased job dissatisfaction: When employees cannot get extended leave, they may feel resentful. This can lead to decreased morale and increased job dissatisfaction.
Higher job turnover: Employees who are not able to take an extended leave may be more likely to quit their job, which can lead to a higher rate of job turnover.
Businesses should carefully consider how they want to handle an employee who needs an extended leave of absence. There are many benefits and drawbacks that should be considered before making a decision. The best option for a business will depend on the specific situation.