The United States is the only country among 22 developed nations that does not guarantee paid sick leave. Although many states, counties and cities require paid sick leave, the majority do not. Due to the adverse impact on employees who lack this benefit, your company should guarantee paid sick leave to your employees.
What Paid Sick Leave Is
Paid sick leave is the time an employee takes off work to stay home and address their health or the health of a close family member. The time off may be used for preventative care, illness or injury. Sick leave, which is required by law in 10 states and Washington, D.C., differs from medical leave, which is required by federal law under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and provides eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to take care of a serious illness or injury involving themselves or a close family member.
Why Ill Employees Should Stay Home
Having paid sick leave encourages employees to stay home when they are ill. They can take time to recuperate and come back healthy without infecting others. Your employees will still receive income and keep their jobs. This is especially important for single parents and families who live paycheck to paycheck. Missing work may mean not being able to buy food or their pay bills.
How Paid Sick Leave Impacts Emotional Security
Knowing they can take time off to address medical needs while retaining income adds to their feeling of well-being. Studies show employees who have paid sick leave are less likely to be injured on the job due to working conditions, physical stress or mental stress because they do not have to go to work when they are ill. Also, single parents feel more secure staying home with a sick child rather than sending them to school because the parent cannot afford time off or is concerned about losing their job.
Why Paid Sick Leave Saves Money
When employees have more time to focus on preventative care, they tend to take their health more seriously and are more likely to prevent devastating conditions from developing. Healthy employees need fewer emergency medical services and experience fewer prolonged illnesses. This saves them, their employer, and their health insurance company money.
How Paid Sick Leave Improves the Work Environment
Your employees feel valued and secure because they remain heathier and more productive. Your customers receive excellent service and keep your revenue strong. Your retention rates remain steady and recruiting costs stay down. You increase revenue due to continuous productivity, strong work quality, fewer safety issues and stronger morale.
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