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News » Increasing sick leave among younger staff raises costs for employers

Increasing sick leave among younger staff raises costs for employers

Increasing sick leave among younger staff

CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES — American employees, especially younger ones, are taking more sick days post-pandemic, impacting companies and fueling debates about workplace culture.

Platform data from Gusto’s 300,000+ small and mid-sized businesses shows 30% of white-collar workers with paid leave used sick time this year, up from 21% in 2019. Notably, those aged 25-34 increased sick days 45% since pre-pandemic.

Recent payroll data shows a spike in sick leave usage, attributed to COVID-19, illnesses, and evolving attitudes about work. 

This is proving costly for some companies. Automaker Stellantis reports a 10.9% loss in 2022 hourly worker time from unplanned absences, an issue in ongoing union negotiations.

Experts suggest the trend partly reflects a generational shift, as younger workers feel more entitled to use sick leave amid record low unemployment. 

However, some employers are adapting, recognizing the value of work-life balance. Payments company Fleetcor has seen younger workers take 3-5 sick days now, up from 1-2 pre-pandemic.

While increased sick leave presents staffing and cost challenges, it also signals a broader focus on wellness. More companies now offer unlimited time off and extended leave, embracing a flexible culture.

Read more here.

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