THE EDITOR: Almost everyone knows of someone who has taken sick leave when they were not sick. But some abuse the privilege (and it is a privilege, not a right) more than others.
Ask yourself, if you employed a man to cut the grass in your yard, would you pay him if he did not show up for work? I suspect the answer is no. So why would you expect to be paid if you did not go to work?
The jailing of a man for six months was a more than welcome reminder that sick leave is not to be abused. I have a friend who works in the human resources section at UWI who complains that, in December, some UWI employees (not all by any means) max out their sick leave entitlement.
The administration is well aware of these employees (who enjoy generous benefits) but feel there is nothing it can do. (Not that some in administration are blameless.)
You hear people say things like, “I’m saving my sick leave to take all in December.” (Nothing to do with being sick.) Now that they are aware that such abuse can lead to jail time, I suspect we will see a drastic reduction this December. (All it takes is to follow one employee and prove that he/she took sick leave without being sick, and make an example of him/her.)
The abuse of sick leave is an endemic problem in our society. Hopefully, this case will make a small dent in curbing such abuse.