Staffing Kansas City

A Healthy Sick-Leave Policy is an Investment that Pays Dividends

The recent pandemic has provided several opportunities to rethink how business gets done, including sick leave policies. No matter your original approach, there is a good chance you and your employees are looking at sick leave from a different perspective than you were at the beginning of the year.

A statistic from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found 76% of employees, or 3 out of 4, receive sick days. The cost of the benefit to employers averages $0.42 per employee hour worked. While this is certainly an investment in the bottom line, it is important to also realize that a competitive sick leave policy is also looked at as a benefit by employees. Some studies have shown a well-received policy can cut turnover by up to 50%, a true money-saving asset.

A Costly Practice

While many workplaces choose to look the other way when employees come in sick rather than using a PTO day, the recent pandemic has shifted this practice into potentially dangerous territory. Allowing employees to work while being sick can cost a business more money. A statistic found that working while sick costs U.S. employers between $150 and $250 billion a year, an amount that is nothing to sneeze at.

More recently, fears of the spread of the COVID-19 virus are increasing the need for a policy or policies that protect workers and maintain productivity while also keeping your business competitive to retaining and attracting employees.

Especially now, it is a good policy to encourage employees to stay home when sick. This provides a measure of reassurance to the sick employee and to their peers working in the office. Knowing that being sick is not a mark against them is a smart way to protect the business now and creates longer-term benefits around productivity and employee loyalty.

Policy Basics

Make it legal – Know the basics about sick leave policies in your state and any specifics as they relate to your industry. Be sure to conform with all relevant regulations.

Make it clear – Be transparent with employees and make sure to highlight any changes. The policy should be easy to reference in the employee handbook and/or on the employee intranet or website.

Make a contingency plan – Have a back-up plan in place and ready to go. Cross-train employees and reduce redundancies wherever possible. Time lost is money wasted.

In the end, remember a “healthy” sick-leave plan really is an investment in your company’s wellbeing!