A courier company’s drivers have been charged for taking a day off sick. That is a charge on top of the loss of earnings as they are self employed. Seems a bit harsh?
The reason is that the company are then losing income themselves, as they don’t make the deliveries. They need to have more drivers on hand than they really need, to cover for sick, parental and holiday leave. But they are then less competitive. What to do?
This is one of the minefields of the self-employed, you only earn when you are working, so you continue to work through illness. Even more difficult, for those who work in the healthcare sector, it is the treatment time that is the prime charge, not the end product. So you charge for a half hour treatment, but not a guaranteed end result. Time lost cannot be made up.
If you can get a locum at short notice you will have to pay them, – still incurring a loss of earnings. So in this industry at least, taking a sickie is the last resort – and it would have been for the drivers too.
While illness is unavoidable it helps to have associates working at your practice, so that you can at least offload some of the customers to them.
Whatever you decide to do its best to sort it as quickly as possible. Here at Real Time Reception our clients can call or email us at the first sign of illness and we will phone or text all the affected customers and rearrange the bookings. So you can lie happily on the sofa surrounded by soggy tissues, in the knowledge that we are working in the background, sorting your diary out for you.
What do we do if one of the receptionists is off sick? Most of our team are on hourly rate contracts and they are happy do extra time or swap hours to cover for each other. As the business grows and we employ more staff flexibility is increasing.