Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Of the World's 15 Most Competitive Countries, 14 Provide Paid Sick Leave - Can You Guess the Country That Doesn't?

If you guessed the United States, you're right!

In the newly released study, Raising the Global Floor: Dismantling the Myth That We Can't Afford Good Working Conditions for Everyone, authors Jody Heymann and Alison Earle explore the working conditions faced by men and women in countries around the world, and compare those conditions to economic competitiveness. The result?
Of the world’s 15 most competitive countries, 14 provide paid sick leave, 14 provide paid annual leave, 13 guarantee a weekly day of rest, 13 provide paid leave for new mothers and 12 for new fathers.

Similarly, the majority of the 13 countries with consistently low unemployment rates provide paid annual leave (12), a weekly day of rest (12), paid leave for new mothers (12), paid sick leave (11), and paid leave for new fathers (9)....

As the research shows, both economic competition and low unemployment survive in countries that provide a minimum standard of paid leave for illness and for new parents.

On the same day this data was released, Senator Chris Dodd and Representative Rosa DeLauro introduced a bill offering up to seven days of paid sick leave for workers with H1N1. The Healthy Families Act, introduced earlier this year, would provide a similar amount of paid sick days for all workers who are ill.

If businesses in other countries can continue operating while giving their workers earned sick time, why can't ours? Please ask your legislators to support continued efforts to provide earned sick time to the 48 percent of workers nationally (and the 46 percent of workers in Pennsylvania) who lack paid sick time to care for themselves and their families.

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