Researchers at University of Pittsburgh reveal that offering paid sick leaves to employees could cut down the spread of flu infection by as much as 40 percent.
The researchers made use of data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics to simulate a flu epidemic in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. The researchers calculated the number of people with paid sick days and the probability of them actually using them and found that if all the employees had access to paid sick leaves, then the spread of flu infection could drop by six percent.
The researchers also observed the effect of giving the employees extra days off especially when they had the flu and found that giving the sick employees one extra day cut down the flu infection spread by 25 percent and giving two days off cut down the spread by 40 percent. The study has been published in the American Journal of Public Health.
"Our simulations show that allowing all workers access to paid sick days would reduce illness because fewer workers get the flu over the course of the season if employees are able to stay home and keep the virus from being transmitted to their co-workers", lead researcher Supriya Kumar said.