One still wonders while as a developed nation that the United States is its industrial set up still lacks pronounced and universal access to paid sick leaves.
The effect of this on the working environment as well as the public health generally cannot be overemphasized. The implication is that employees no matter their health condition will have to appear at work even because should in case of the put in for sick leave, it will affect their income. This leads to non productivity in offices.
Dangers Posed By A Sick Worker
A more pressing issue is that when they show up to work ill, especially with a sickness that is airborne or contagious, they put every other employee and their coworkers at the risk of contracting the illness and getting sick too. With this, there could be a general outbreak of infectious disease such as the flu.
In a situation where an ill worker with flu has to tend to customers, this means that the customer will also stand the risk of coming down with the flu. Medical researchers have also concluded that this may prove to be a more serious issue especially for children, old aged and frail people who are tagged as the risk groups.
Sick Pay Can Reduce Lower Flu Rates
Medical practitioners that have carried out research on influenza rates in workplaces have revealed that in climes were a paid sick leave are given, the chances of contracting flu or any kind of sickness are limited.
Also for some states and cities that mandated the issue of paid sick leaves, it has been found out that there is a rapid reduction in infection. Furthermore, there are no evidence that these leaves affected jobs or the wage for employees went lower than normal.
However, the figure of states that have passed this mandate in the country stands at a very low figure of 10, which means that a lot still needs to be done as regards this, and the best way to go about this is the issuing of a federal law to pass this mandate all over the country.
A Lot Of American Employees Lack Paid Leaves
A lot of workers in America have the difficult choice of working while sick or taking unpaid leave. In research conducted to this effect, only 71 percent of civilians enjoy paid sick leave in the private sector of the labor force. For the state and local government workers, paid sick leave was available to 91 percent of them.
For civilians that work full time, 85 percent of them has access to sick leave, but unfortunately, only 40 percent from this 85 percent gets the benefits of the sick leave payment.
The situation for low-income earners was even far worse than for high-income earners. Just a mere 31 percent of them got their sick leave payment compared to 91 percent of the high-income earners.
The payment was also very low in some industries compared to others, with industries like construction, extraction, fishing, and forestry on the disadvantaged side.
A lot of people who were employed into the private industry also lack access to their sick leave payments, the majority of which were culinary and health workers. And it is of utmost concern that workers in this mentioned sector are meant to be healthy at all times.
Solutions To This
As earlier mentioned the only solution to this nationwide is for the federal government to pass a law that every employee must have access to sick pay. Studies have shown that the solution is possible with at least just ten days of paid sick leave. But it should be noted that this is not only the way to go about it, and shifts in cultural norms and attitudes may also be needed.
With this, it is important that workers have a good understanding of what a work ethic entails, and they should not be on duty when they know that they have a contagious disease or flu. So it is important for general public health, the safety of workers, and productivity in a workplace, that employees learn about the basics of workplace culture.
Another solution is the existence of a good working relationship between the management and workers, or between an employer and employee. With this, there will be ease in the line of communication, and a good employer can never encourage an employee to come to work sick.