Roughly 85% of full-time employees and 74% of all workers receive paid sick days as a benefit. Usually, workers are allocated a certain number of sick days based on some standard, such as length of service. They can also be part of a general paid time off (PTO) category, which includes vacation time and personal days off, as well as sick days.
More and more companies, however, are adopting a policy of unlimited sick days. These policies have distinct advantages to both employees and human resources departments. Three of the main benefits are as follows.
People won’t be tempted to come in sick.
Keeping people home when they’re sick is the primary rationale behind offering paid sick days in general. A person who’s sick but comes to work, the theory goes, will infect other people. Before long, a whole department can be down – not to mention; the sick person will also likely be working at a subpar level if they do come in.
But a problem arises when companies ration sick days. Suppose Employee A gets a bad case of the flu and has two paid sick days available. They spend two days at home but are still sick when they come in on the third day. They can promptly start to infect everyone else then.
With unlimited sick days, people could take as much time as they need to truly get well before they come back to you.
You don’t have to pay someone to keep track of sick days.
Whatever your company’s policy on sick days is, a human resource or administrative employee needs to keep track of it if it isn’t unlimited. In other words, someone has to keep track of how many paid sick days an employee has if they are allocated on length of service or if they are part of a PTO policy.
That means more paperwork for both the employees, their supervisors, and human resources. If, on the other hand, sick days are unlimited, no one has to keep track of it. The days can be worked out with the employee and the direct supervisor.
Employee morale will likely improve.
An unlimited sick day policy will also likely improve employee morale. Employees are likely to feel that the company respects their judgment and treats them like adults. Folks who feel respected and treated like adults are likely to feel happy in their workplace and to stay longer.
Do You Need Guidelines in the Case of Abuse?
Feedback from companies that have adopted an unlimited sick days policy indicates that widespread abuse doesn’t occur.
One strategy is to introduce the policy and let the direct supervisors monitor it. If they feel abuse is occurring, or if an employee has developed a long-term illness, they can discuss it with the human resources department.
Need help hiring?
At Expert Staffing, we take pride in assisting companies to hire top-notch employees. We can review your benefits and other policies to make sure you are competitive in the industry and the region. We offer the most comprehensive recruitment strategies in the industry. To find out how to use our services to connect with fantastic candidates in your industry, contact a consultant today.