Providing your workforce with sufficient hours to earn a stable living increases their commitment to your business. Employees who don’t have enough hours to make ends meet will always be on the lookout for another job that will give them those hours, and the kind of security that comes with it. This has a huge impact for the bottom-line of businesses at a time when the cost of turnover is 20% of the salary for workers earning less than $50,000.
When employees have advance notice and greater control over their schedules, they become more engaged on the job, generating higher productivity. Advanced schedules allow workers to plan their lives with their families, juggle caregiving and community responsibilities, and really focus on their job while at work. On the flip side, hectic, just-in-time hours not only keep workers from putting in 100%, but also jeopardize their health. Access Alliance Community Health Centre has shown the damaging health effects of insecure, temporary jobs on workers.
Benefits of providing paid sick time far outweigh the costs. Workers coming to work while ill can pave the way for contagious disease outbreaks amongst staff such as flu, as well as increased absenteeism due to long-term sickness. In sectors like food services, employees working while ill can also create significant public health risks, which put companies’ reputation on the line. Earned sick time simply makes business sense. Employers who are already making this investment in their workforce in places like San Francisco report no or negligible costs.
Evidence coming in from jurisdictions where paid sick days are required demonstrates that workers rarely abuse paid sick days; in fact they tend to take fewer days than those to which they are entitled. In New York, more than a year after the Earned Sick Time Act came into effect in April 2014, 98% of the employers surveyed reported no known cases of abuse and only 0.3 % reported more than three cases.
Jobs are created by people who have money in their pockets to spend. Fair wages boost consumer spending and stimulate the entire provincial economy. With a level minimum wage, after paying rent, food and transportation costs, there is no money left over for leisure, products and services that can improve quality of living while benefiting local economies. That short-changes people and the business community.
Companies that follow the rules are placed in an unfair competitive position when laws are not enforced. 74% of the businesses caught breaking employment laws in the past did not change their behaviour, according to an Ontario Ministry of Labour Repeat Violator Inspection Blitz conducted in 2016. Consistent enforcement of our labour laws protects all of us. Anything less is not fair. Anyone who breaks the law should be held accountable.
The Institute for Wealth & Health has shown that irregular shifts and long hours of work can contribute to fatigue – a huge risk factor for workplace injuries. It’s smarter to build better wages and decent hours of work into our business plans. This way, employees are not exhausted from working multiple jobs or long hours. The costs of a workplace accident are simply too high. Consider the consequences of low staff morale, higher WSIB premiums, or, ultimately, the loss of an employee’s life.