by Jay Lawson
The Town of Webb Board is considering a policy change regarding its sick leave provisions for town employees.
Specifically, the board is exploring a means of providing additional sick days to employees, whose allotment of sick days may have run out.
The measure is intended to help in the event of a catastrophic illness, said Town of Webb Supervisor Robert Moore.
There is a need locally for such a policy allowance, which is not without considerable precedence, he said.
Moore asked Webb’s Human Resources (HR) consultant to advise the Board on the issue.
In response, he has received some recommendations that have been forwarded to the board members for consideration and future discussion.
“There are a variety of approaches that can be taken to implement this,” wrote the HR consultant.
“However, a policy of this nature can become very complex and needs to take into account numerous factors,” he said.
This includes establishing qualifying criteria and legal protections of privacy.
Also, how much time can be used/donated. And how to apply and get approval to use donated sick days.
The HR consultant advised against employees swapping sick days directly, one to another.
This could create undesirable pressure situations, he said.
Preferably, donated sick days would become detached from the donor through a repository or “bank,” or other means.
Some sample approaches were given to Webb, regarding the transfer of sick leave.
• Sick Leave Donation Program. An employee who has a sick leave balance in excess of fifteen days may assign any sick leave credits in excess of the fifteen days to any employee who has exhausted all of his/her sick leave, annual leave, and compensatory time credits.
• Sick Leave Donations. With the prior approval of the Donor’s Department Head and Town Supervisor, employees may be allowed to transfer sick, personal or vacation leave to another employee due to an emergency or crisis need. The donations would be confidential.
“Emergency” and/or “crisis” needs would be those of a catastrophic nature that could not be anticipated.
Examples are additional time needed to attend to needs after a fire, death of an immediate family member, or the severe illness of an employee or the employee’s immediate family member.
Employees will be notified of the existence of the Sick Leave Bank. No solicitations will be made as to donating, however.
The policy would be employee driven in its entirety. The Town Board will not be matching donations or adding to the Bank.
The Town of Webb Board has agreed to consider the options presented by its HR consultant and to discuss them in relation to the town’s needs.
These discussions and a decision on whether to enact a Sick Leave Donation Policy will occur at a later date.