Monday, May 19, 2008

Sick Leave Entitlement

Here is an interesting story from the Washington Post on Sick Leave and the problems its creating at the IRS. Like most federal employees, IRS employees receive 13 sick days annually and use an average of 11. Since they cannot be cashed out at and can be carried forward the average IRS employee had 43 sick days at the end of 2006. Naturally, employees have an incentive to burn them all before retiring--hence the average 85% annual utilization rate.

At the Internal Revenue Service, one employee over a two-year period took sick leave on 13 of the 14 Tuesdays after a Monday holiday

Pretty sweet huh?Sick Days are an entitlement. There is no way to manage an entitlement except to limit its scope while incenting the behavior you seek. Too many private sector firms have sick leave programs with similar charactersistics as the federal sick leave program

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