No matter what kind of business you run – if a staff member has to choose between a paycheque and recovery, chances are you’ve just created a preventable outbreak in your workplace. Better Way Businesses support paid sick days because they’re good for business.
Whether you’re creating a brand-new program or increasing the number of days you offer, we know the math to figure out how many paid sick days you can afford can be daunting. That’s why we created this paid sick days calculator for you to use as a template!
Download the Paid sick days calculator!
Getting started with the calculator
If you’re starting with a blank slate on paid sick days, you probably want to wade in the pool before diving. Many of Ontario’s top health organizations recommend 10 paid sick days per employee/year. However, every business is different and, just like wages, finding the right balance for your unique business matters.
What’s that? A downloadable paid sick day program calculator? Yep, and it’s based on a BWA Member’s actual calculations. (A shout-out to Go Tours, a Toronto tour operator, for supplying us with their paid sick day calculations!). We’ve got a short example below that illustrates how a hypothetical business can use the calculator.
We’ve designed the calculator so that you can change the wage rate and number of paid sick days per year to determine the cost of starting a paid sick day program at your business. Some BWA businesses flex the number of days offered up and down throughout the year on an as-needed basis (think flu season) and others offer a set amount each year. Depending on your business, both models offer value.
Although we’ll never stop touting the business benefits of paid sick days for all staff – your business is dependent on many factors. Launching a successful paid sick day program for your staff requires constant evaluation and feedback.
Calculating the cost of a paid sick day program at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes (using Go Tours’ approach)
In our example, the infamous wizard twins Fred and George Weasley offered a program of 4 paid sick days for all employees at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes (WWW) in 2021.
WWW employed 4 staff that year and paid them each $20 per hour (paid out in galleons and knuts, of course).
A terrible bout of Wizard Gout ripped through the wizarding population in 2021. Thankfully the Weasleys had a plan in place to cover sick employees. All sick hours taken were covered by a staff person paid $20 per hour.
Here’s how Fred and George used the paid sick days calculator to figure out the cost of their program.
Inputs in the paid sick days calculator
First, they plugged in the number of paid sick days that each of their staff members took (e.g. Employee 1, Employee 2, etc.) in the “sick days claimed” column.
Next, they wrote in the corresponding number of daily hours each staff member usually works in the “hours worked per day” column. For example, Employee 1 works 8 hours per day, while Employee 3 works 4.5 hours per day.
Finally, they plugged in each staff person’s hourly rate into – you guessed it – the “hourly rate” column in the paid sick days calculator. The Weasleys know it’s great for business to pay fair wages, and they offer a $20 hourly wage to all their employees. They also plugged in $20/hour in the Covering Employee’s “hourly rate” column.
Then the paid sick days calculator works it all out – as if by magic!
Outputs from the paid sick days calculator
It turns out that employees took an average of 2.4 sick days each in 2021, compared to the 4 days offered to each person. Taking fewer days than offered is a common experience amongst Better Way Alliance member businesses and Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes is no different.
The paid sick days calculator also determines that it cost Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes a total of $1,605 to pay for all sick days taken in 2021. Compare this to their daily sales revenue for the same year, an average of $3,000 per day. That means the program pays for itself – and some! These paid sick days kept WWW open by making sure their sick employees stayed home instead of working sick and infecting their wizardly colleagues. By staying open, they were able to continue producing Wheezes instead of shutting down the whole business.
Download the Paid sick days calculator and calculate the cost for your business!
Paid sick days work for non-wizarding businesses, too
In a real-life example, BWA Member Bread By Us, an espresso bar and artisanal bakery in Ottawa, was able to maintain constant operations during the peak of the pandemic by offering paid sick days to all staff along with entrepreneurial resourcefulness and creativity. Check out Co-Owner Jess Carpinone’s story here. Jess’s story shows that it takes resourcefulness and creativity (alongside a handy paid sick days calculator) to deal with health and labour crises, but that it’s totally possible to offer ethical employment to staff and succeed in business even during tough times.