President’s Agenda Includes More Time Off

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President Obama’s agenda includes changes to sick day policies, as well as plans to expand flexible work arrangements.

While many large to mid-size organizations provide sick leave to their employees, small employers are concerned about the plan’s potential ramifications

President Obama’s agenda includes changes to sick day policies, as well as plans to expand flexible work arrangements. Currently, organizations offering sick days provide 8.2 to exempt employees and 7.4 to non exempt, according to the 2008 Compensation Data results. Flexible work schedules are offered by 51.5 percent of organizations.

President Obama’s plan would require businesses with 15 or more employees to provide seven paid sick days a year. The 2008 Compensation Data results covering nearly 5,300 organizations found that the number of sick days offered to both exempt and non-exempt employees has held steady for four years. Some industries provide more sick days to their employees than the national average. Utilities offer an average of 12.3 days and are followed by not-for-profit organizations with 11.4. The distribution/warehouse industry has the lowest number of average sick days for exempt employees, 6.1. Real estate and construction organizations follow with 6.2 days.

“While many large to mid-size organizations provide sick leave to their employees, small employers are concerned about the plan’s potential ramifications,” said Amy Kaminski, manager of marketing programs for Compdata Surveys, the nation’s leading compensation and benefits survey data provider. “Increased costs and a higher percentage of unplanned absences could negatively impact small businesses who are struggling to compete in today’s economy.”

Over half of the employers providing sick days allow carryover with 68.4 percent placing a cap on the number of days carried over. In 2008, the average maximum number of carryover days for exempt employees was 32.8 and 29.7 for non-exempt. The Benefits USA results showed this number has been steadily declining since 2005, when the average maximum was 50.3 for exempt and 47.2 for non-exempt. Comparing numbers on an industry level, exempt employees at financial services organizations are allowed to have a maximum of 48.8 sick days carried over, while health care organizations allow 37.9.

The president’s plan would also create a program to inform businesses about the benefits of flexible work schedules and increase federal incentives for telecommuting. The Compensation Data results show that just over half of the employers surveyed offer flexible schedules. These are most offered to technical/professional employees at 38.9 percent. Management positions have the smallest percentage available, 30.6 percent.

About the Survey
Compensation Data 2008 contains data on 637 job titles ranging from entry-level to top executives. Information was collected from millions of employees across the country. The results provide a comprehensive summary of pay data, benefits information and pay practices with an effective date of March 1, 2008. Benefits USA 2008/2009 analyzes national and regional data on benefits eligibility and administration policies with detailed information on benefit plans, premiums and provisions. Information was collected from more than 5,500 benefit plans covering almost 6 million employees across the country.

Compdata Surveys, http://www.compdatasurveys.com/2009, is the nation’s leading compensation and benefits survey data provider. Data is collected annually from thousands of organizations across the country. Compdata Surveys has been providing accurate, reliable data at affordable prices to organizations since 1988. For further information about the compensation and benefits surveys, contact Lane Odle at (800) 300-9570.

This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.

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Lane Odle
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