- Paid leave can reduce mortality rates, according to a paper published Aug. 29 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
- The research examined how state and local laws requiring benefits like paid sick leave have affected relevant populations; it concluded that declines in mortality were statistically significant for suicide and homicide deaths among men and for homicide and alcohol-related deaths among women. Those rates could decline by more than 5% in large, central metropolitan counties if a 40-hour annual paid sick leave mandate was adopted, the authors said.
- Among other conclusions, the researchers argued against state preemption laws that prevent localities from adopting their own mandates. “State legislatures’ preemption of local authority to enact health-promoting legislation may be contributing to the worrisome trends in external causes of death,” the authors wrote.
HR pros have long known that paid leave is a workplace benefit that can serve as a robust talent attraction and retention tool. But this most recent study indicates paid leave may have real benefits for workers’ health as well.
Several studies have made clear that paid parental leave can improve health outcomes for children, but a growing body of research indicates that employee well-being is on the line, too.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said in 2021 that workers without paid leave often will work through health problems. Citing the absence of a federal leave mandate, the progressive think tank called on employers to provide the benefit, especially for low-wage workers who may be least able to afford time off otherwise.