Sick Leave Policies and Other Recommendations for Employees

Sick Leave Policies Guidelines

Considerations Before Creating Sick Leave Policies


  • Ensure that our policies and practices are aligned with public health recommendations and federal, state, and local laws.
  • Consider employees’ need for social, death, and other additional services.
  • Create nonpunitive emergency sick leave policies if you do not have any existing sick leave policies yet.
  • Keep employees informed about pandemic-related public health and licensing policies.
  • Prepare action plans to maintain priority functions in case a coronavirus outbreak occurs among employees.
  • Hang posters about sick leave policies wherever appropriate.
  • If possible, implement flexible working hours or work-from-home arrangements.

Finalizing Sick Leave Policies

Emergency Paid Sick Leave
  • The eligibility of this policy may be applicable to employees who:
    • Have no minimum work hours
    • Cannot go to the office or work from home due to quarantine-related cases
    • Have symptoms of coronavirus
  • Health workers may be excluded.
Expansion of Emergency Medical and Family License Law
  • This policy may be applicable to employees who need to attend to sick minors.

Department of Labor, United States of America. “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.” OSHA, March 2020.
LINK. Accessed 10 May 2020.

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).” CDC, 05 May 2020.
LINK. Accessed 10 May 2020.

U.S. Department of the Treasury, IRS and the S.S. Department of Labor Announce Plan to Implement Coronavirus-Related Paid Leave for Workers and Tax Credits for Small and Midsize Businesses to Swiftly Recover the Cost of Providing Coronavirus-Related Leave.” U.S. Department of Labor, 20 March 2020.
LINK. Accessed 10 May 2020.

“COVID-19 and the American Workplace” U.S. Department of Labor.
LINK. Accessed 10 May 2020.

Written By

Peter Smith

World Health Organization (WHO)

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