If an employee calls in sick
If an employee is not at work for a scheduled shift, they should have contacted their supervisor to let them know prior to the start
of their shift. Operational areas may have specific protocols for how to do this. Supervisors need to be sure all employees know what
the expectations are and how to notify the workplace or the supervisor of their absence.
Most of the time, your employee is simply not feeling well and needs time to rest and recover. If that is the case and the absence seems
reasonable, make sure your employee knows you are there to support them and gather the following information.
The Initial Contact Checklist provides steps to prepare for your initial conversation. (link to fillable form)
Things to gather
Get any information you might need to cover their workload. You might have to reschedule meetings, cover duties or adjust timelines.
Find out how long your employee thinks they might being away. Sometimes, knowing how long an illness or injury will last isn’t
possible. You are really just trying to get a general idea if your employee thinks they will be back the next day, in a couple of
days or longer term. If they anticipate being away for more than five consecutive days they should apply for
sickness and accident
benefits as soon as possible to avoid any disruption in pay.
Get the general reason for the absence. You don’t need specifics of an illness or injury, but you do need to know if that is the
reason for the absence or it is because of other reasons. If your employee shares with you that their absence is not for health
reasons, such as a sick child, then discuss the alternate leave options they have (such as lieu time, rearranged work schedule,
vacation, flexible work options). If your employee offers details beyond what is necessary to know for work purposes, remind them
it is not necessary to share confidential medical information.
Keep in touch with your employee while they are away to show support or gather any additional information you need, but remember to use
discretion. When and how often you contact an absent employee can depend on how long they will be away. Give them reasonable time to
rest and recover.
If your employee is absent, but didn’t contact you
If your employee hasn’t been in contact and didn’t show up to work, try to contact them as soon as possible (ideally within the first
24 hours). If you don’t reach the employee directly, leave a message explaining why you are calling and a reasonable time you expect a
call back. There are circumstances such as accidents, medical emergencies or family crisis that might prevent the employee from
contacting you immediately. Be sensitive when you make this first call, but make sure your employee knows that you are concerned.
If your employee doesn’t respond to your message, contact your Human Resources Advisor. They can help decide if formal action needs to
be taken and what that action might be.
Reasons for absences
Non work-related illness or injury
When the supervisor and employee discuss the absence, the employee should provide an idea of how long they might be away from
work. For absences that are shorter than five consecutive days, employee does not need to provide an Attending Physician
Statement. For payroll purposes, the code for this time S03.
If the absence exceeds five consecutive working days, the employee needs to provide an Attending Physician Statement (APS).
Instructions to submit the APS is outlined here.
For firefighters S & A benefits begin after four consecutive working days of a platoon schedule.
Absences due to workplace injury
If the employee is absent because of a workplace injury, it needs to be reported to WCB within 72 hours. Supervisors and
employees should follow the claim process of the
Worker’s Compensation Board.
For questions about the WCB process contact WCB Administration.
An injured employee should report the incident to their supervisor immediately and get medical attention if needed. For quick
service, they can visit an
Occupational Injury Service (OIS) clinic,
which will get employees who have been injured while working in to see a doctor quickly. Other services such as x-rays, MRI’s,
and surgical consultations may also be expedited by seeing the OIS clinic.
For payroll purposes, the code for this time K31.
Absences due to reasons other than accident or illness
If the absence is because of family-related or non-medical reasons, an employee is not eligible for S&A.
Those employees still need a leave status when they take time off work. An employee might have to use vacation,
lieu time or an unpaid leave of absence in order to deal with missed work days. HR Support Services can assist with figuring
out the correct pay codes for the absence.
If you think the absence is suspicious
Next: Applying for S & A benefits