- Access to paid sick leave has grown significantly, as more states and municipalities pass paid sick leave laws, ThinkAdvisor reports. The U.S. Department of Labor released data in a survey on health, life, retirement and paid-leave benefits that brokers, agents and retirement specialists can use for marketing and business plans.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics survey showed that the percentage of private employers offering paid sick leave grew from 53% in 2016 to 58%. Growth in access was much higher at small public employers, ThinkAdvisor says, and at state and local governments with fewer than 50 employees, the percentage of workers with access to leave moved from 74% to 87%.
- The survey found little change in the other markets like group health plans, group life plans and retirement plans between 2016 and 2017.
Brokers, agents and retirement specialists can use the data, along with employers, to promote their benefits offerings in recruiting job candidates.
States and cities passed their own paid sick leave laws, which expanded the market for paid sick leave, but not without pushback from business groups and Republicans, who claim the benefit is too costly. On a federal level, the paid sick leave mandate for federal contractors has so far survived a slew of rollbacks, but no federal bill regarding sick leave for other workers has gained traction.
Paid sick leave may be a costly benefit for employers, but it can also be a deterrent to employees coming to work ill because they can't afford to lose a day's pay by staying home. Proponents argue that allowing workers to stay home when they are sick or use the time to take care of other family members who are sick could improve productivity in the long run.