Mandated Paid Sick Leave – Boon or Bust?
Vermont is on track to join the cities and states that require employers to offer paid sick leave. Aside from the issue of whether its the right thing to do, their are business cases to be made on both sides of the argument. Proponents believe the introduction of paid sick leave reduces the spread of illness and therefor also reduces medical expenses while increasing productivity, and also reduces turnover and the associated costs. Opponents argue that the additional cost of mandated sick leave must be offset by some combination of increased prices, a decrease in other benefits, a reduction in take home pay (fewer hours, lower pay rate, or both), or reduced profitability. They also say that introducing paid sick leave does nothing to change employee behavior (they still come into work when they are sick).
Connecticut has mandated paid sick leave since 2012. So how has it all worked out in the Nutmeg State? An academic study conducted after the law had been in effect for two years found that many employers credited paid sick leave with improved morale and less spread of illness in the workplace, and they reported little abuse. Most employers reported a modest or non-existent impact on the bottom line, and minimal administrative burden. In fact, 75% of employers expressed support for earned paid sick leave.
Maybe this isn’t something we need to be afraid of.