The practice of banking sick days is almost unheard of in the private sector, yet it’s a different story for many provincial employees. Nearly 30 per cent of government plans across Canada allow for banking sick days, versus only three per cent of private sector plans.
We know having a safety net in place should employees get sick in the short-term is obviously a responsible thing to do. However, the practice of banking sick days raises questions as to whether sick days are being used for purposes that may not be related to illness.
The ability to bank sick days comes at a cost: CFIB’s report “The Cost of Banking Sick Days in the Public Sector” reveals the practice of government employees “banking” sick days is costing the Saskatchewan government $113 million in banked sick day liability as of 2013-2014.
Quebec & Saskatchewan are the only provinces that allow unlimited sick day banking for their employees.Provincial government employees in BC, Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia cannot bank sick days.
Maximum number of bankable sick days for core public service in 2015, by Federal and Provincial Governments
CFIB is urging the Saskatchewan government to:
- Eliminate the banking of sick days in the public sector;
- Introduce affordable short-term disability plans for provincial government workers to better align sick leave provisions with those of the private sector and provide newer public sector employees with peace of mind should they fall ill; and
- Not introduce additional benefits for public sector workers to compensate for reduction or elimination of bankable sick days and other sick day provisions.
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