Hartford Business Journal

4/20/10

Connecticut employers could save $73 million a year by extending paid sick leave to at least 257,000 full- and part-time workers who currently lack it, a state commission says.

The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women released Tuesday a report at the State Capitol that was prepared for it by the D.C.-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

The report calculates the cost to employers to offer workers paid sick leave, measuring that against what the institute says are savings employers would realize from implementing the benefit.

Proposed Senate Bill 63 would cover only about 257,000 of the 553,000 Connecticut employees who lack paid sick days.

Calculated weekly, the institute estimates that the cost to cover each eligible full- and part-time worker would be just 19 cents per hour worked, or $6.87 weekly based on an average 35- to 36-hour work week. Wages, payroll taxes and other costs of the benefit would amount to $92 million annually, the report said.

In contrast, employers would save $12.32 weekly – or $165 million a year — by offering the benefit, through lower worker turnover and fewer employees absent from work for illnesses, such as the flu, said report author Kevin Miller.

Counting the cost of the benefit and the overall savings, employers would realize a net savings per worker of $5.45 per week, or $73 million annually, the institute said.

The commission said it shared the report with the state Labor and Public Employees Committee in conjunction with Pay Equity Day because paid sick day benefits are considered a critical companion to equal pay in eliminating workplace discrimination and ensuring women’s economic security.

Original Article