The Impact of Sick Leave on the Fire Service Management

Today the problem of sick leave and its impact on the fire service management and the effective work of fire service departments is very important. It proves beyond a doubt that sick leave affects consistently the work of people employed in fire service. At the same time, sick leave directly affects the performance of employees working within fire service because a few employees on sick leave increases the attendance level and prevents absenteeism, while the latter may be a serious problem provoked by sick leave. Sick leave can be beneficial only if it is used for its intended purpose solely. Hence, sick leave should be managed and employees should have an opportunity to get sick leave as well as the management should prevent the problem of absenteeism.

The effective fire service management concerning sick leave aims at the responsibility of employees, the responsibility of the managing staff, and corrective action. The latter tends to fall into three main categories: acceptable excessive absenteeism; flagrant abuses of leave and excessive tardiness; questionable sick leave. In such a way, the fire service management should focus on corrective action in order to achieve a positive organizational performance of fire service. Otherwise, sick leave can cause numerous problems, which can produce a significant impact on fire service.

In this respect, it is possible to identify problems affecting fire service and problems affecting employees and their life. Among the problems affecting fire service, it is possible to identify such problems as absenteeism, decreasing effectiveness of work. As for employees’ problems, the deterioration of health, performance and personal problems within family are a few to mention.

Hence, the fire service management should focus on the effective management of sick leave and it should avoid absenteeism and maintain positive organizational performance and performance of each employee.

Alison, E. and S.J. Heymann. (2004). “Work, Family, and Social Class In How Healthy Are We?” A National Study of Well-Being at Midlife. OG. Brim, C.D. Ryff, and R.C. Kessler, eds., Chicago: The University of Chicago Press: 485-513.

The authors research the problem of the impact of sick leave and health issues on the family and professional life of people. In this respect, this work will be particularly interesting from a policy perspective, especially Chapter 17, which centers on work, family, and social class.

The authors find that the lower the income level, the more likely it is that work is juxtaposed with poor social support, a chronically ill child, or other caretaking responsibility. Low-income jobs do not provide flexibility in sick leave or work hours, resulting in a disproportionate number of children who suffer from unmet health and developmental needs ”” and ultimately impacting our nation’s health. At the same time, these problems can occur within the fire service too and, they should be taken into consideration.

Brief, A.P. and H.M. Weiss. (2000). “Organizational Behavior: Affect in the Workplace.” Annual Review of Psychology, 25, p.34-41.

The authors of the article focus their research on the development of positive organizational behavior and the impact of organizational behavior on employees and managers. This research is useful in regard to the necessity of the development of a positive organizational behavior which can be accepted by employees with different ethnic background.

Bovee, C.L. and Thill, J.V. (2005). Excellence in Business Communication. Prentice Hall.

The book explores the effective approaches to communication within organizations. The book provides valuable information on possible approaches to communication that can be used in the fire service management to increase its effectiveness in the context of the effects of sick leave on the management of fire service and relationships between managers and employees.

Bublitz, D. L. (August 1992). “Determination of Sick Leave Usage for Fire Fighters Assigned to a Twenty-Four Hour Shift.” Franklin Fire Department. Franklin, Wisconsin.

The author focuses his attention on the research of the usage of sick leave by fire fighters. The author reveals a number of problems which distinguish fire fighters assigned to a twenty-four hour shift from other employees. In such a way, the author gives insight into specificities of sick leave in the context of fire service management.  This work is particularly important due to the ample information on difficulties fire fighters can have to get a sick leave.

Butterfield, K.D. et al. (2005). “Organizational Punishment from the Manager’s Perspective: An Exploratory Study” Journal of Managerial Issues, 17, p.54-62.

The research focuses on the practical application of punishment within organizations to improve the organizational performance and stimulate employees to work better. This study can be helpful in regard to the application of punitive management approaches in the fire service management which may be used as preventive measures against absenteeism.

Clack, James. (March 2001). “Sick Leave Analysis and Management.” Minneapolis Fire Department. Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The author analyzes the procedures related to the management of sick leave within fire service and reveals major difficulties modern fire service and fire fighters can have since, due to the high responsibility and importance of their work, are often practically torn apart between their professional duties and work, on the one hand, and their family and children, on the other hand.

Greve, H.R. and A. Taylor. (2000). “Innovations as Catalysts for Organizational Change: Shifts in Organizational Cognition and Search.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 45, p.47-60.

The study reveals the essence of the practical implementation of changes within organizations. Taking into consideration the fact that the modern fire service management deals with new challenges related to the growing cultural diversity of people working in fire service, this study can help develop effective approaches to the implementation of essential changes aiming at the improvement of relationships within fire service.

Hart, J.L. (2004). “Organizational Communication in an Age of Globalization: Issues, Reflections. Practices.” Business Communication Quarterly, 67, p.112-135.

The author focuses on the organizational communication paying a particular attention to cultural gaps that emerge in the modern business environment. In fact, the recommendations developed by the author concerning the closing communication gaps in the fire service management, including problems provoked by sick leave and its effects on the work of specialists employed in fire service.

Hayes, David. (October 2003). Identifying and Addressing Sick Leave Use Trends for the Tulsa Fire Department. Tulsa Fire Department. Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The author analyzes the major trends in regard to the use of sick leave within fire service. The author mainly focuses on practical aspects of the problem, revealing possible conflicts and contradictions between managers employees caused by the use of sick leave, which can potentially provoke the problem of absenteeism.

Heymann, S.J. and E. Alison. (1998). “Work-Family Balance: What Hurdles Are Parents Leaving Welfare Likely to Confront?” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 17,2: 313-321

This study empirically examines the question: How do the working conditions faced by parents leaving welfare who seek to balance working and caring for their children compare to conditions faced by parents who have not received AFDC? Similarities and differences in working conditions may play a critical role in determining whether parents are able to leave welfare for work successfully and what impact the need to work will have on their children.

Heymann, S.J. and E. Alison. (December 2001). “Impact of Parental Working Conditions on School-Age Children: The Case of Evening Work.” Community, Work & Family 4,3: 305-325

Data collected in the US in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth was used to examine the effect of parental evening work on the home environment for 1,133 school children (aged 5-10 yrs). The Home Observation Measurement of the Environment (HOME) score was used to predict the child’s school, developmental, and health outcomes. Results show that at least one parent working in the evening had a significantly negative effect on the home environment both for families living in poverty and those who were not living in poverty. The effect size, an 11% decrease in HOME scores when mothers worked evenings and an 8% decrease in HOME scores when fathers worked evenings, was the same order of magnitude as living in poverty

Lee, David. Fathers need time to be with their baby. New York: The Scotsman Publications Ltd.  2006.

The book reveals possible problems within the family, which may be provoked by the lack of opportunities to take a sick leave. The author pays a particular attention to the relationship between fathers and children because often fathers have fewer opportunities to take a sick leave to stay with their children and take care of them. As a result, father can face a risk of widening communication gaps between them and their children.

Mclaughlin, K. et al. (2002). New Public Management: Current Trends and Future Prospects. Routledge.

The author focuses on the current development and basic trends in the management of public organizations and services, including the fire service. In addition, the book forecasts future prospects of the development of public management. In this regard, the book can be useful for the definition of further directions in the development of the fire service management and development of effective strategies in regard to sick leave.

Morse, J. (March 20, 2005). “Make Time for Daddy.” Time. 153:6, 61 F 15 ’99.

The article focuses on the communication within a family, especially between fathers and children. The author points out that fathers spend less time with their children and often are at work when their children fall ill. In this regard, negative effects of family problems provoked by the absence of fathers at home is particularly serious for fire fighters who often spend more time at work than other employees.

Prins, H. (1994). Fire-Raising: Its Motivation and Management. Routledge.

The author analyses the current development of fire service and defines its major problems. On the basis of the existing basis he develops recommendations concerning the improvement of the fire service management and motivation of employees, preventing the problem of absenteeism.

Rollinson, D. (2005). Organizational Behavior and Analysis an Integrated Approach. Harlow: Prentice.

The book focuses on the current issues that affect the positive organizational performance and functioning. The author evaluates perspectives of the application of an integrated approach to modern management, which can be applied to the fire service management as well.

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