March 07, 2012
Among full-time workers who participated in employer-provided paid sick leave plans in March 2009, more than two-thirds (68 percent) were in plans in which they received a fixed number of sick leave days per year. Of the remaining third, 22 percent received paid sick leave through a consolidated leave plan, and 10 percent were in plans that operate on an "as-needed basis."
Full-time private industry workers who are provided with a fixed number of paid sick leave days per year received, on average, 8 days per year at 1 year of service and 9 days per year at 10 or more years of service. Regardless of their length of service, the majority of workers in these types of plans received from 5 to 9 days of sick leave per year.
Paid sick leave benefits allow workers to take time off for illness and have been shown to help increase worker productivity and reduce the spread of disease within a company and community. Although there is no federal legal requirement that employers provide paid sick leave benefits to their employees, 73 percent of full-time private industry workers in the United States were provided such benefits in 2009.
These data are from the March 2009 National Compensation Survey. Consolidated leave plans combine multiple forms of leave into one plan, such as providing employees with 4 weeks of leave for vacation and illness or disability, which they can allocate as they choose. Plans that grant employees leave on an as-needed basis are less formal and found mostly in establishments with fewer than 50 employees. To learn more, see "Paid Sick Leave: Prevalence, Provision, and Usage among Full-Time Workers in Private Industry" in the February issue of Compensation and Working Conditions Online.