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Our company just sent us a memo that they are cutting our sick days from 2 weeks per year to 1 week per year.


Interesting take on this problem, Jay. (I'd rather people stay home when they're sick, too.) But out of desire for sympathy, sainthood or martyrdom, you always have the people who won't (can't?) stay away, don't you? Let's invest in some work-from-home technology so they can at least check in and assure themselves that, despite all odds, the office is getting by without them. (Shocking!).

I wonder if people will actually use fewer days if they don't feel like they have an "entitlement" to x number of sick days per year. It also just struck me that a use-it-as-you-need-it approach to sick days also removes liability for paying out unused time upon separation.

Wally Bock

Great post, Jay. So any of our policies stem from the need to have something to deal with the small percentage of people in our organizations who abuse things.

Years ago I proposed a policy similar to yours for the graduate school where I was business manager. The Board of Directors, on the advice of their accounting firm, would not allow it, stating that we needed to have specific sick day policies to prevent abuse.

In today's over-regulated workplace I'm sure we couldn't try something so sensible. Still, in four decades in business I've found that the vast majority of people are willing to be responsible adults, but they won't be if you penalize them for it.


We considered this policy, but then instituted sick days so that they could be allocated toward Family Leave, so there would be allocated paid days to use in case of a birth or adoption.

Norm Hoffman

Treat your employees like adults.... What a novel concept! I like that!

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