Sick or faking it? Protect your business!
Is your employee really unable to work due to illness? As a business owner, you should be asking yourself this question if an employee's sick leave is starting to add up. If a worker isn’t sick, he could for example be engaged in one of the following:
- An unauthorized part-time job
- Require personal free time, for example to renovate an apartment
- Have a job interview with competitors, or even starting work elsewhere
Furthermore, you should pay attention when any of the following happens:
- Employees report that they are sick during approved vacation time. This is often a devious way of getting additional paid vacation time.
- Employees report that they are sick right after their regular holidays. It is likely that they have been working somewhere else during their vacation time and didn’t use their free time for recuperation.
In our work with clients, we’ve discovered cases in which exempted employees have already started new jobs during their exemption period.
Facts like these require decisive action. It’s not just a breach of trust; it’s also about saving money – as an employer you’re responsible for sick pay over the duration of an employee's illness.
The professionals of the FAKTEN detective agency can investigate such things as:
- The reason for your employee’s absence, i.e. if there’s actually an illness
- If the employee is dedicated to their recovery or is engaged in other work
- If an employee is using sick time for job interviews
- If an employee is working somewhere else
We can observe the daily routines of the person in question and document this using photos and video, sound recordings and written reports. Based on the evidence collected, you can then decide about continuing to pay wages, and moreover about the employee’s future with your company.
Incidentally, according to § 4 paragraph 1 Austrian law covering continuing renumeration (Entgeltfortzahlungsgesetz or EFZG), as an employer you can require the submission of a medical certificate from the first day of illness on. As a gesture of goodwill, most employers only request a certificate after the third day of absence. Our advice: do no give away money by continuing such salary payments.