It may feel counterintuitive to offer paid sick leave to your employees as a benefit, particularly if you’re a small business owner. Why would you pay an employee that stays home? Interestingly, the United States is one of the few industrialized nations in the world that does not mandate paid sick leave. Why are we falling behind in this area? What is it that businesses in other nations understand about paid sick leave that some U.S. companies do not? While this may seem like a controversial issue, it is really very practical. Here’s why U.S. businesses, no matter their size, should offer paid sick leave to all their employees.
What Are The Benefits of Paid Sick Leave?
Why Offer Paid Sick Leave?
Only 68% of U.S. businesses offer paid sick leave to their full-time employees. While the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires companies to offer unpaid family leave, there is no federal law requiring the benefit of paid sick time.
There is strong and widespread support in this country for paid medical leave. With the Great Resignation still in full swing, employers have an opportunity to change policies around sick leave as a benefit that could attract more workers. But can small employers afford to offer this benefit? The reality is that offering employees paid sick has a few benefits for employers:
- Your employees will be healthier. If you don’t offer paid sick time, the alternative for the employee is to come into work sick—and spread those germs around. If your company can offer a work-from-home option, that’s even preferable to sharing the cold, flu, or even COVID with the rest of your workforce. The sick employee will recover faster when staying home in bed while the rest of your workers will stay healthier, too.
- Your employees will be more productive. Who is truly productive when they feel lousy? If that employee is forced to come to work because they need the money, illness and the resulting decline in productivity will negatively affect your business.
- Your employees will stay loyal to your organization. If a sick employee is forced to work just to earn a paycheck, resentment can build up. Could you lose employees over this? Certainly, other companies who offer paid sick time as a benefit might look more attractive to your workforce. Given today’s tight labor market, retaining your existing workforce is a smart priority. Offering paid sick time can help you retain your valuable workforce and build loyalty across your company.
- Your company will look good to future employees. Hiring is tough these days, so any perks, incentives, and benefits you can offer will play out well in the recruiting marketplace. If you offer paid sick time, it leaves the impression with candidates that you care about your workforce. If you’re trying to attract new employees—and who isn’t these days—this is exactly the kind of perception you want to leave with anyone considering your company for employment.
Do You Offer Paid Sick Leave at Your Organization?
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