Everything You Need to Know About Paid Sick Leave

Posted on March 14, 2019

Offering paid sick leave to employees increases retention and morale. It also helps with recruitment and decreases the risk of spreading contagious illnesses to other employees and customers.

Sounds amazing, right? How can a cost-conscious business offer such a great benefit when they need their employees daily in order to operate? We’ve spent the past several months researching and getting ready to provide paid sick leave to our workers. Let’s chat about what we’ve learned along the way.

What Is It?

Let’s start off with the basics. Paid sick leave is an accrued type of leave that allows an employee to accrue paid time off of work. They can use this benefit when they or their family member is sick, or if they have a doctor’s appointment.

For businesses in states or cities with mandated sick leave, all work is eligible for accrual; and for employees in locations where there are no mandates, it’s up to the business to offer it.

How to Offer It

To begin implementing our paid sick leave program, we checked for any applicable state or local regulations. Each regulation gives you the minimum accepted accrual rates, waiting periods for sick leave use, and annual rollover limits. If you’re a multi-state employer, you may need different rules for employees in each state to follow the minimum standards.

At Spur, we want to provide the most employee-friendly program in the country. It’s being built to satisfy regulations and keep our workers from choosing between working to pay bills and caring for a sick loved one or themselves.

Now that we’ve decided on our policies, we’re currently implementing them throughout our platform. Businesses offering paid sick leave for the first time can track it on a spreadsheet or use a payroll service. The more rules you create around your policies, the more difficult it will be to track and manage.

The Cost

The cost of offering paid sick leave depends on how much you allow your employees to accrue.

For a basic estimate, take the hourly pay rate of an employee and divide it by the accrual rate of one hour of sick leave. If your employee makes $12 per hour, and your policy allows them to accrue one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours they work, then their sick leave will cost you $0.30 more per hour worked.

This may seem like a lot if you have several employees. But offering this benefit greatly benefits you and your employees. It means they won’t have to choose between work and their health or the health of their loved ones. It can also make your jobs more attractive and improve employee retention.

Productivity + Morale Benefits

Working while sick costs the national economy $160 billion annually in lost productivity. If you’ve ever gone to work not feeling well, you know how hard it is to get your work done. Allowing your employees to stay home means they can get well faster. It also keeps your customers from being serviced by someone not working at their full potential.

Offering paid sick leave can also reduce turnover. A study by Restaurants Opportunities Centers United found that implementing better workplace practices, like paid sick leave, can reduce turnover by 50 percent. Reducing turnover means less time and money for recruiting new employees.

There are several obvious advantages to offering this benefit. There is a growing trend of city and state governments mandating it, so it’s a no-brainer to consider offering the worker-centric benefit at your business.

It’s our vision to be the most worker-centric employer. As a result, we’re giving our business partners the option to offer paid sick leave to their Spur workers.

Providing this benefit can be an administrative burden and require separate tools to track and manage. We can handle all aspects of offering paid sick leave to your workers so you can focus on growing. Contact us to learn more.