Previously, we grouped absenteeism and incapacity together. Although the definition of incapacity varies, it generally refers to when an individual cannot perform their job as expected. The strain experienced in certain industries may warrant early retirement in these instances. Key indicators include physical strain, emotional strain and use of physical strength and flexibility.
Fair labour practices require employers to provide assistance, within reason, to employees with medical conditions or impairments. They should attempt to retain these employees in the workplace as far as reasonably possible. At the same time, most forward-thinking companies understand that their human capital (comprising skill, capabilities, expertise and experience) is their most important and valuable asset. Schedule 8 of the Labour Relations Act obliges employers to investigate all forms of incapacity and to assist employees who need time off for valid medical conditions and rehabilitation. This results in additional costs on top of costs for time off, rehabilitation costs, realignment costs and so on.
Implementing a system of incapacity leave will assist employers in calculating the costs of incapacity and retaining the skills of the employees. Incapacity leave grants employees additional paid sick leave to recover from illness or injury after they have exhausted their 36 days of sick leave in a three-year cycle. Employees who have exhausted
their normal 36-day sick leave may apply for one of the following forms of temporary incapacity leave:
If companies manage incapacity in the workplace correctly, they will mitigate cross over into disability benefits and manage benefit premiums.