Leave & Absence

Sick Leave For Eye Tests And The like

Is an employee allowed to take sick leave in order to see their dentist for a check up, their optician for new spectacles, or their dietician?  As a matter of course, many employees do,but is the employer compelled to pay, particularly for an appointment which the employee could keep in hei/her own time?

We are of the view that the answer is no, such events do not count for sick leave.  The BCEA says in S23(1), that sick leave applies when the employee cannot attend work on account of 'sickness or injury', which suggests that appointments to see a medical or similar such person which is not the result of an immediate medical crisis, requiring attention is not what the BCEA contemplates by way of sick leave.

Most reasonable employers would not have cause to refuse an employees request for time of for such an appointment, particularly if the employee offers to work in their lunch hour so that they can leave early.  It does seem however, that many employees in the public sector take iot as their right to have sick leave for such occasions.

What is the practice in your firm?  Abuse of sick leave is a continuous and costly drain on your organisation, and should be the focus of regular attention