HRdownloads Blog

Why Employers Should Encourage Sick Days

Posted by HRdownloads on Dec 26, 2019 2:30:00 PM

How much money can you afford to throw away? Most business owners would emphatically answer, “Zero!” Yet Canadian businesses lose about 2.4% of payroll—$16.6 billion in 2011, according to Statistics Canada—to sick days, not including indirect costs like finding replacement workers or delays to projects. It might seem surprising, then, that the best way to reduce the cost related to illness is to encourage employees to take sick days.

Research published in the American Journal for Public Health shows that providing even just one or two paid sick days to employees reduces the spread of infections in workplaces by 25 to 39%. Intuitively, this makes sense; if an employee stays home, they don’t share their germs, which means they reduce the number of sick days their colleagues have to take. One employee taking two sick days is far less costly than five or six employees taking one each. And the risk is real. Contagions spread rapidly in workplaces: being cooped up with a sick person for a long time, with everyone using the same equipment, the same recirculated air—not to mention that some people don’t cover their coughs and sneezes—it’s small wonder people talk about colds making the rounds at work, as if being sick were just another job duty being re-assigned every week. When a sick worker spreads their sickness, they multiply the harm they do in the workplace. So if a sick worker stays home, they actually reduce the number of sick days their colleagues have to take—a net benefit to employers.

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Topics: HR Challenges, sick days

Bill 148: How Sick Days and PEL Interact

Posted by HRdownloads on Mar 1, 2018 2:30:00 PM

Sick time is a pain in employers’ necks, a thorn in managers’ sides, and a fly in the attendance management ointment at many workplaces. Managing employee sick time is arduous and time-consuming for many businesses, with many employers putting a significant amount of effort into tracking, monitoring, and reviewing employee sick time. Despite all of this effort, sick time can be confusing for some employers, especially when defining certain terms and entitlements and how they interact with legislated standards. One example of this frequently pops up when employers offer non-legislated sick time in addition to the legislated entitlement to personal emergency leave (PEL) guaranteed under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA).

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Topics: Bill 148, sick days, PEL

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