Survey: Governments Offer Greatest Number of Sick Days

December 18, 2006 ( - Governments are the most generous with the number of allowed sick days, while exempt workers in the service industries earn the least, according to a recent survey.

The poll, by Compdata Surveys of 5,300 US employers, found that government employees get an average of 11.8 sick days each year. Non-profit and utilities organizations are next in line, with 11.3 and 11.2 days respectively, according to the survey.

At the other end of the spectrum, service industry exempt employees have the fewest sick days at 6.3. Technology and manufacturing workers have the second and third lowest number of days with 6.4 and 6.6, respectively.

Ranked by region, employees working in the central US get the greatest number of sick days, with 8.7, followed by those in the Southern states (8.4), the Eastern states (8.3), and Western states (7.9).

The number sick days employers offer their workers has been relatively stagnant since 2003, said Amy Kaminski, manager of marketing programs for the Kansas-based company, in a press release . She said that companies have been changing the way they package sick leave to increase flexibility. They have been pooling employee time off into one formal package that includes sick days as well as vacation and personal days.

Among employers surveyed, 10.2% have up to 100 full-time employees; 13.6% have 101-200 employees; 21.6% have 201-500 employees; 13% have 501-1,000 employees; 23.6% have 1,001-5,000 employees; and 18% have more than 5,000 employees.

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