Access to paid sick leave

Access to paid sick leave

Many do not have access to paid sick leave amid this crisis.

For many people, access to paid sick leave is as big a worry as empty supermarket shelves.

Why? Because according to a 2018 report from UCLA’s World Policy Analysis Center, the U.S. and South Korea are the only two countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development where paid sick leave is not guaranteed, and although paid sick leave has become somewhat more common in the workplace in recent years, the soaring COVID-19 crisis has nearly 4,000 people infected in the country, per latest tracking by the Johns Hopkins University, with no clear solution from government officials or a paid sick leave regulation for companies to follow, which could complicate the situation even more.

A recent Pew Research Center analysis of Bureau of Labour Statistics data found that 24% of U.S. civilian workers, or roughly 33.6 million people, still do not have access to paid sick leave. (“Civilian workers” refers to private industry workers and state and local government workers combined.)

The privilege to paid sick leave is nearly universal among teachers, with 96% able to avail of the option, along with 94% of those in management, business and finance positions, while it is lower among workers employed in sales, 64%, while it stands at 59% among those working in construction, extraction, forestry and fishing. Paid sick leave is much more common in the public sector than in private businesses.

Click here to see other key findings from the bureau’s 2019 National Compensation Survey (NCS) and the complete Pew Research fact sheet.


About the Author:

Abigail Mitchell
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