Fleet News

Sick pay curbs prompt risk warning to fleets

COMPANIES adopting a hard line with employees who miss work due to illness should tread very carefully, a leading driver safety specialist has warned.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown says he is taking a stand against sick note culture, while Tesco has taken steps to cut absenteesism with the recent announcement that it will not pay the first three days' sick pay to combat so-called 'sickies'.

But Pro-Drive, the Stafford-based fleet risk management and driver training company, claims that companies which decide not to offer sick pay for the first three days of illness could be forcing genuinely sick members of staff to take to the wheel and struggle into work when they are unfit to drive.

Graham Hurdle, Pro-Drive's managing director, said: 'As an employer myself, I would not like to think that my members of staff are missing work due to the slightest cough or runny nose.

'So I can't help but endorse any mechanism to incentivise people to come in. After all, lost time is incredibly expensive to any business.'

But he said that if companies decide to adopt a hard line on this issue, they must appreciate the risks they are facing.

If an employee is genuinely ill and is perhaps feeling feverish, dizzy, or tired, albeit capable of getting out of bed and coming to work, they may not be in a fit state to drive.

If company policies regarding sick pay mean that they feel 'forced' to come to work this could lead to liability on the company's part if they have an accident.

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