Ask the ExpertUnlimited paid sick days?
Tanya Sinclair asked 1 year ago

I’ve heard about some workplaces implementing unlimited paid time off policies primarily for vacation and personal time. I’m wondering about sick days. What are the implications if a workplace wants to introduce unlimited paid sick time only? The workplace wants to ensure that employees who are not on well can be off as long as they need. The plan is to still keep vacation as is at three weeks. Please include links to supporting legislation if possible. We are a small non-unionized remote-first organization and based in Ontario. We have employees in ON, BC, AB, QC, SK etc.

1 Answers
Rick Tobin Staff answered 1 year ago

It is true that in an effort to attract and retain employees, a lot of organizations are looking at unlimited PTO models and moving to a manage for results and not time. It is debatable how effective these newer models are; most likely, it is better for some industries than others.
We would caution you to clearly outline what is and isn’t sick leave if this is a policy/management change you want to pursue. I wonder why an employee wouldn’t just call in sick if they were out of vacation time and wanted a day off?
There are rules for when you can and cannot require medical notes, but this half in/half out unlimited time policy that you are suggesting might cause more headaches than its worth in your effort to make sure employees do not take advantage.
If you are already managing by results and not concerned about capacity issues, you might be better served to just implement a full unlimited PTO model instead of a half measure.