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Chronic staff illness

  • 1.  Chronic staff illness

    Posted 01-28-2019 01:13 PM

    I am wondering what others suggest we do in cases where staff members might be sick at least once every two weeks, sometimes more. I’m not referring to staff members who are in any way pretending, they are genuinely sick.

    Do any of you have suggestions or a policy that guides how you may have addressed a similar situation?  I witnessed something similar previously and other staff members began to resent always having to sub for her.  I’m also wondering if others have policies where you might move someone to a shorter shift -- that makes it easier to have substitute help and keep good employees.  

    I appreciate any suggestions you have.

    Julie Bedard
    Wildwood FL

  • 2.  RE: Chronic staff illness

    Posted 01-28-2019 01:50 PM
    I work at a center with over 60 staff members and we have a very large array of call ins. For chronic call ins, even if they are legitimate, we are forced to put them on probation. If during that probation period, usually 30-60 days, they call in again, then our hands are tied and they are released. Yes, there have been a few times when we've had to release someone that was a quality teacher, but quality has to work hand-in-hand with responsibility to the entire community we are serving. We have to make sure the children receive quality care from reliable adults. Otherwise, a classroom can get quickly out of control. We have to make sure our families are being served well and if they can't communicate on a regular basis with their child's teacher, then they may leave and we may never know why. We also have a responsibility to our other staff to make sure they can depend on each other. One staff member can sink a ship. In my years of management, I have also seen that multiple call-ins can be contagious. Once one member is comfortable with you continually picking up the pieces of their absence, others see it and believe that they are also capable of also doing this to your business, the children and families. It doesn't take very long before you may have a rotation of call-ins. I like to have a frank conversation with the people who are calling in and give them my expectations that are laid out in our handbook. If they can't meet those quality expectations, then it may be time for a break until they can figure things out, or it may be time for them to move on completely.
    I hope this helps.

    Sarah Chestnut
    Owner/ Operator
    Be All Professional Development
    Saginaw TX