Reasons For Calling In Sick: How Much Do You Need To Know?

Calling In Sick Reasons: Manager’s View

Many people prefer to say simply “I am taking the day off sick today” and are reluctant to share any specific health information with their supervisors.

Calling In Sick Reasons: Legal and Ethical Considerations

Discussing personal health has always been a sensitive issue.

  • Tame your curiosity. Most likely, a manager doesn’t hold a professional medical degree and doesn’t really need to know each and every detail of the employee’s condition. Idle curiosity will only undermine trust between workers and the boss. Remember that in cases of privacy violation, an employee can also seek legal action.
  • Speaking of health — keep your work environment healthy. Treat your coworkers as responsible adults, and do not insist on sharing their medical issues with you. Most people won’t feel comfortable when asked to share more than they chose to.

Why You Should Follow “The Less the Better” Rule

No one (except for your mom) cares about your lab test results, medical prescriptions and X-ray images, so leave them aside.

  • Managers. When an employee calls in sick, don’t be too inquisitive about their health condition. Ask only job-related questions, for instance to plan your team’s work or adjust deadlines. On a related note, do whatever possible to avoid potential privacy violations — for example, stay aware of the local data protection and sick leave laws..
  • HR. Regardless of the sick leave policy you have in your organization, tracking absences over email is not very efficient. Employ up-to-date software solutions to manage employees’ absences. An overview of who’s absent from work will also help managers plan workloads of their teams.


You might be wondering whether employers have the right to ask staff for details of their sick leave.



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