Writing an employee sick leave policy starts with developing the terms of the policy. Areas that the policy should address include paid sick time accrual, types of sick leave and rules for using sick time. The sick leave policy's terms must comply with laws such as those related to pregnancy or disability.
The section of the policy dealing with sick time accrual may differ for full-time and part-time employees. It should specify how much sick time an employee accrues per pay period and when the employee may begin using it. How sick leave is handled when an employee has exhausted her paid sick time also goes here. The policy may allow employees to use vacation time or to take unpaid leave. What happens to accumulated sick time upon termination of employment is another item to include.
Types of sick leave that the company recognizes normally include the employee's own illness or injury and may extend to time off to care for a sick child or other family member. Some company policies allow employees to use sick time for scheduled medical appointments.
The policy should address how and when an employee must notify the employer of the need to take sick leave. It should specify whether a telephone call is required or whether an email is sufficient and whether the employee must contact someone before the start of a work day or within an hour of start time.
The policy should describe situations which require a doctor's note. An employee may have to provide a note for taking three or more days of sick time, or he may need a note saying the doctor has cleared him to return to work after a contagious illness or an injury that made him unable to perform the job.