Navigating Paid Sick Leave

Navigating Paid Sick Leave

Regardless of what industry you’re in, the success of your Central Florida Small Business is tied to the effectiveness of your employees. Attracting and retaining quality employees is critical to your success and growth. When candidates are weighing the pros and cons of working for one company over another, benefits often play a considerable role in their decision. As a small business owner, you may not be able to offer all the perks of larger corporations. You can and should offer perks like paid vacation and sick days. Read on for advice about navigating paid sick leave benefits.

Sick Leave Maybe Optional Now, But That Could Change

Florida companies are not currently required to provide employees paid sick leave. According to work and family legal center A Better Balance, five states and Washington, D.C. do require employers to offer paid sick leave. It’s reasonable to assume that at some point in the future, Florida legislators could join those five states and require employers to offer paid sick leave. Why not create your own policy now, when you’re able to call the shots? It could help your recruit and retain the best talent.

What Should A Paid Sick Leave Policy Cover?

If you are starting from square one with the desire to draft a paid sick leave policy, here are some things to consider:

  • Decide how many sick days per month, quarter, or ear you will compensate employees for. (Before deciding, calculate your out-of-pocket costs should the worst-case scenario occur and every employee claims the maximum number of paid sick days. You may not be able to afford to be as generous as you’d like.)
  • Identify two individuals (the main contact and an alternate) that employees should check in with if they plan to miss work due to illness.
  • Decide whether you will allow employees to carry over unused sick days from year to year or compensate them for unused days. (Most employers do not roll over unused sick days.)
  • Decide whether you will require employees to submit proof of illness (a doctor’s note), or whether you’ll trust them.
  • Decide whether you’ll allow employees to use paid sick days to stay home with an ill relative.
  • Decide how you’ll handle it when employees take more sick days than you’ve approved. Will you allow the absence but not pay them? Will you allow them to use vacation days toward their absence? Will you terminate them? Dock their pay? If you have fewer than 50 employees and are not dealing with an employee covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you can set your own policy.

Creating attractive, fair, and affordable benefits policies can be tricky for small business owners. You wear many hats. Let us wear the insurance hat for you. That’s our specialty, after all. Contact Newman Crane & Associates Insurance at (407) 859-3691 for all of your small business insurance needs.