We all perform better on the job when we are healthy, and it puts us all at risk when workers have to go in sick. That’s why a growing number of cities, counties, and states are enacting policies to ensure that all workers can earn paid sick days. Austin passed a citywide paid sick days ordinance in February 2018, making it the first Texas city and the first city in the South to pass a paid sick days policy. Residents of other Texas cities have now indicated an interest in following Austin’s lead.
A growing body of evidence, including surveys of business owners, indicates that paid sick days policies have little effect on employers’ bottom lines while providing substantial benefits to businesses, workers, and the community as a whole.
CPPP has created a factsheet that summarizes the benefits of paid sick days to Texas employers and answers some key questions business owners may have about paid sick days policies.
Q: What are the benefits of paid sick days for my business?
- Paid sick days help limit the spread of illness in the workplace to coworkers and customers. Researchers have found that access to paid sick days increases the likelihood that an employee will stay home from work when they are sick.
- Paid sick days reduce the cost of turnover for employers. Workers are 25 percent less likely to leave their job over a 5-month period if they have the ability to earn paid sick days.
- Paid sick days also help employers avoid the costs of “presenteeism” – working less productively while sick – by encouraging workers to recover at home. Researchers estimate that working sick Americans cost employers $160 billion annually from decreased productivity and unnecessarily extended illnesses.
Q: What are the benefits of paid sick days for my employees?
- Access to paid sick days supports the health and well-being of employees. In addition to encouraging workers to stay home when sick, paid sick days increase the rates at which employees seek critical preventive care.
- Paid sick days help workers avoid making difficult choices between being loyal employees and caring for their loved ones. For example, parents without paid sick days are twice as likely to send their child to school sick.
- Paid sick days also improve the economic stability of workers and their families. A recent study found that workers without paid sick days are more likely to live in poverty and require public benefits. Three days of lost pay for the average worker without paid sick days is equivalent to their entire monthly grocery budget.
Q: What are the costs to my business of implementing a paid sick days policy?
- While there are some minimal costs of implementing paid sick days, research shows that the benefits to employers usually outweigh the costs.
- Many workers in jobs providing paid sick days report not having missed any days of work due to illness or injury in the past year. On average, workers with paid sick days use fewer than three days per year.
Read the complete FAQ on Texas businesses and paid sick days.
This post was written by Economic Opportunity Intern Danielle Zaragoza