TORONTO, Dec. 4, 2012 /CNW/ - Public sector employees in Canada take
nearly five more sick, disability and personal days per year than
Canadians working in the private sector, at an annual cost of up to
$3.5 billion, says a report from the Canadian Federation of Independent
"I don't think anybody believes that public sector workers just get sick
more often, yet something makes them feel entitled to more time off,"
said CFIB president and CEO Dan Kelly. "Obviously, we want to be
compassionate when people are truly not well, but the current system
has entrenched a feeling of entitlement to those days off that has very
little to do with being sick."
In addition, some public sector workers have the option to "bank" unused
sick days, then take a lump-sum payment or use the days to retire
early. Workers who manage to stay healthy can build up months of extra
time off and/or pay.
Federal government employees take the most time off by a wide margin,
averaging 15.2 sick, disability and personal days per year. The overall
public sector average is 12.9 days, compared to 8.2 days in the private
sector. There are also variances within the private sector, depending
on the size of the employer. Employees in businesses with fewer than 20
employees averaged 6.7 days off, while those in firms with more than
500 employees took 9.1 days, which is still considerably lower than the
public sector average.
The report makes a number of recommendations to address the current
disparity. Chief among them is a call for sick day allotments to be
aligned with those offered in the private sector, and for the
accumulation of unused sick days to be discontinued.
"We think sick days should be used only when you're sick," added Kelly.
"The numbers suggest that's not always happening in the public sector,
and that's not fair. We need to change the system so everybody's
playing by the same rules."
To view CFIB's full report, Calling in Sick, visit www.cfib.ca.
As Canada's largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses,
CFIB is Powered by Entrepreneurs™. Established in 1971, CFIB takes
direction from more than 109,000 members in every sector nationwide,
giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all
levels of government and helping to grow the economy.
SOURCE: CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
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