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Monday, 1 February 2010

National Sickie Day? Try this

Libby Purves writes in the Times today - which is apparently National Sickie Day. So before I dash for the train, let me tell you about a very simple bonus system we use for staff below foreman / supervisor level.

Every December they get a bonus of up to 8% of their annual earnings, including overtime, but only if they've had zero days sickness absence over the year. For every day's absence, the bonus is reduced by 1%. Their sickness levels are at about 2.5 days overall, compared with 12 days for NHS staff and 10 days for plods.

OK, our scheme is tough for anyone who breaks a bone, or who has cancer, but it works, and our overall paybill is still lower than our competitors.


Anonymous said...

I suspect that would fall foul of the Disability Discrimination Act.

English Pensioner said...

My daughter's company has a similar scheme except that it only applies to absences of up to three days. Any longer, they need a doctor's certificate and it doesn't count against them.

Letters From A Tory said...

You mean that your incentives encourage people to turn up at work rather than bunk off? Stunning idea!

Someone should tell the entire public sector about it.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

You can achieve similar results by just interviewing everyone when they come back off the sick. Embarassment does the trick.

But you need iron discipline in your managers so that they actually do it.

English Pensioner said...

My elder daughter, who works in the public service with a largely female staff has had some success with the approach suggested by Weekend Yachtsman as compared with the previous male manager.
He couldn't enquire too deeply into the reason for absence and often got the reply "you know, the usual female problems". My daughter does enquire and asks "What particular female problem this time?" or "You're the only female I know who has her periods every 3 weeks". It worked, particularly as she prides herself on only having taken a week's sick leave in 22 years when she fell of a chair and broke her wrist. (Chasing a spider, it shows how dangerous they are!)