What Are “Unsick” Days?
We recently came across an article from The Benefits Guide that discussed “unsick” days, and we were intrigued. The author, Suzanne Lucas, explains that employees use traditional sick days once they are already sick. This is crucial, as they need time to recover and it helps avoid getting everyone else sick. What often happens, though, is once an employee is already sick, they can be out of the office for days. This leads to them cutting into their vacation days just to be able to recover. Lucas explains that “unsick” days should be set aside specifically for preventative measures, like checkups, vaccinations or therapist visits.
The Benefits of “Unsick” Days
There are many benefits of incorporating “unsick” days into your organization’s Paid Time Off policy. The first, and most important, is that you are bringing attention to the importance of preventive care. You also allow employees to stop stressing about trade-offs. They no longer have to decide if they want to use their time off for doctor’s appointments or taking a vacation. That means that employees will not only be able to maintain their physical health, but will have the freedom to use their vacation time to destress, relax, and refresh their mental health. The end result is happier, healthier employees who are less likely to need to use their actual sick days.
Introducing “Unsick” Days
In her article, Lucas explains how to go about introducing “unsick” days. Here are her best tips!
- Checkups and other preventative appointments often to not take more than a couple of hours, so you only have to allow for a few “unsick” days total. She suggests the minimum be one day, but two or three would allow for the best flexibility.
- Consider allowing employees to use their “unsick” days to take their children to preventive appointments as well. This is not only beneficial for their children’s health, but it prevents the employee from having to miss the extra days that they would have had to stay home with a sick child.
- Before instructing the policy, make sure you know which appointments you want covered. Of course you will want to include doctor’s appointments, but employees may if other appointments such as therapy sessions, chiropractic care, or acupuncture are included. When making a decision, keep in mind the benefits each type of appointment has on the mental and physical health of your employees.
Preventative care and “unsick” days are becoming more and more popular, and Lucas explains that this is not a benefit that will go unused. To learn more about incorporating “unsick” days, visit The Benefits Guide.