A lot of people (like a million people or more according to the experts) are set to get sick from swine flu or not be able to go to work because the business is shut because of swine flu. What will happen to people’s incomes when they can’t work because of swine flu?
The statutory minimum for paid sick leave is five days. For many people that won’t be nearly enough to cover being sick with swine flu themselves, time off to look after dependents who get sick, potentially time when they are well but their work is closed, and time off for other normal sicknesses during the year. A smart business would rather pay for a sick person to stay home even if their paid leave has run out, than force them to come into work and infect others. But we know not all businesses are smart.
Ultimately, neither workers nor employers should be saddled with the cost of swine flu. It is a problem that we face as a community, so we should carry the cost collectively though the government.
Here’s what I propose – a law to be passed under urgency with the following provisions:
No, it’s won’t be cheap but the cost will be borne somewhere. We can’t have workers and their families losing all their income once their sick leave runs out. It’s not fair to expect businesses to pay. It seems to me that the only fair way to bear the cost is together through the government.