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Private industry workers with sick leave benefits received 8 days per year at 20 years of service

March 08, 2019

How many workers can use paid sick leave when they can’t go to work because of illness or other medical concerns? In March 2018, 71 percent of workers in private industry had paid sick leave benefits. About 6 in 10 of those workers received a fixed number of sick leave days each year. Four percent could use sick days as needed, and the rest were in consolidated leave plans, which provide time off for workers to use for a variety of purposes. Among those who received a fixed number of sick leave days, the amount varied depending on the employee’s length of service and the size of the establishment.

On average, workers in private industry received 7 days of sick leave per year at 1 year of service. The average also was 7 days at 5 and 10 years of service and 8 sick days per year at 20 years of service. Employees in smaller establishments received fewer paid sick days, on average, than employees in establishments with 500 workers or more.

What about workers who don’t use all their sick leave each year? Can they carry it over to use in future years? In March 2018, 46 percent of workers in private industry who received a fixed number of paid sick days could carry over unused sick days from year to year. Usually there was a limit to the number of days these workers could carry over. The remaining 54 percent of workers in private industry could not carry over unused sick days from one year to the next.

These data are from the National Compensation Survey — Benefits program. For more information, see “National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2018.”

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Private industry workers with sick leave benefits received 8 days per year at 20 years of service on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/private-industry-workers-with-sick-leave-benefits-received-8-days-per-year-at-20-years-of-service.htm (visited December 06, 2019).

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