FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC— According to an analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), providing earned health care time to workers in Vermont is expected to save the state’s employers nearly $4 million annually. The state’s proposed bill, “An Act Relating to Absence from Work for Health Care and Safety,” would offer paid sick days to approximately 57,530 private sector workers and 4,690 state and local government workers who currently lack paid leave benefits of any kind.
By providing paid sick days under the proposed law, IWPR estimates employers would save $24 million annually in reduced turnover, and additional costs due to reduced contagion in the workplace. Currently employers in Vermont have annual costs of up to $1.8 million due to low productivity of ill workers on the job.
Previous IWPR research shows that workers with earned health care time are less likely to visit hospital emergency departments for services. IWPR estimates that paid sick days coverage proposed in Vermont would reduce health care costs by $5 million annually due to reduced emergency department visits. Additional savings are also expected due to reduced nursing home stays and less spread of contagious illness within the community.
“Earned health care time is a cost-effective way to contribute to healthy and productive workplaces, while helping parents support their families and reduce the spread of illness in their communities,” said Dr. Barbara Gault, Vice President and Executive Director of IWPR.
The proposed law would provide workers in the state with time off to recover from an illness, take care of an ill family member, or seek services for domestic violence. Without fear of retaliation or loss of income, workers with access to time off can promptly seek preventative health care for themselves and their families, leading to improved health outcomes.
About the Institute for Women's Policy Research
IWPR conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women and their families, promote public dialogue, and strengthen communities and societies. IWPR is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that also works in affiliation with the women's studies and public policy programs at The George Washington University.