As business owners we sure like to complain, don’t we?
We complain about collecting cash and the price of supplies and the state of the economy and the dog-eat-dog competitive world we live in. But there’s fantastic news if you’re a business owner: Mayor Nutter recently came out in support of a city law that would require us to provide up to five days of paid sick leave to our employees, even for companies with as few as 15 employees.
Wait. Fantastic news?
How can this be fantastic news for a business owner? That’s because you’re just not getting it. Providing paid sick leave will benefit our companies in at least ten ways:
• For starters, you now have an even better reason to move your business to the suburbs. C’mon out here! It’s great! The people are nicer. The prices are lower. There’s more space and, other than Don Tollefson, there’s pretty much no homeless guys wandering around the streets. The best thing? No paid sick leave required. No minimum wage threat. Just good old fashioned capitalism…the Montgomery County way.
• You can outsource more. No more weighing whether you should bring on that new employee. With all the employment regulations, healthcare requirements and minimum wage threats you may have been teetering. But now that the city is going to require you to provide paid sick leave you’ve now hit the tipping point. Forget hiring. It ain’t worth it. Just outsource. It’s definitely the way to go. The decision is a snap.
• Your taxes will go down too. More people taking unnecessary, paid sick days means less people in the office and less working getting done which will result in less profits for your business. And that’s great because the less money you’re making the less you’ll have to pay Uncle Sam. So, see? Mayor Nutter is doing his part to help you reduce your tax bill. And he’s a Democrat too! Who figured?
• You can cut back on your personnel staff. Now that the government is telling you to provide healthcare and telling you to provide sick leave and (eventually) telling you what to pay your people, you really don’t have any more HR decisions to make. So you might as well cut your costs and get rid of your HR people altogether. It’s another cost saving bonus that you didn’t think about. You’re welcome.
• You can have fun contests. With paid sick leave required, I’m going to bet that some of your people will take full advantage of the five days available. So you might as well encourage them. Give an award for the “best sick day excuse” or “most horrible sick day ailment.” See who can forge the best doctor’s note or who has the “best fake cough” or leaves the best “I’m out sick” message on the company’s voicemail. Have some fun. Embrace the law. This is bonding with your people, man!
• You’ll have a healthier office. You’ll have more balance and perspective. I mean, what’s more important: Getting that shipment out to that big customer which will help pay the bills and keep your people employed, or just making sure that no one is exposed to Melissa because she’s got the sniffles that morning. Exactly. We must live long, and kind of prosper.
• You can reduce your rent cost. Once the city allows your employees to take up to five days off for “sick days” you can bet you’ll have a lot less people taking up space in your office doing silly stuff like sending out invoices and collecting cash. And that’s great news for your overhead because now you can consider cutting back on some of that unnecessary rental space. Your people can share cubicles or work from home. Or maybe you can sublet a little piece of real estate and make a profit from all those sick days. You’ll prove that entrepreneurism is far from dead in the city of Philadelphia.
• You’ll have more in common with your European friends. Remember how self-conscious you were the last time you were attending that art exhibit in Paris or that theatre opening in Berlin (which is what most business owners do in our spare time with the oodles of money we’re earning – we jet off to Europe and hobnob with the other one-percenters, didn’t you know?) because they were bragging about how much time off they get and how much more enlightened they are about work compared to us stupid Americans. Well, now you can clink champagne glasses with your European friends because you’ve now got something in common with them. And soon, with a little more luck (and a few more laws) we can be enjoying the great economic and social prosperity they’ve been experiencing too!
• You will LOVE The Talk. It’s awesome. Way better than the The View. And that Sheryl Underwood…girl, when she gets going, I don’t even want to go there! The best thing about The Talk is that it’s on in the middle of the afternoon. And now that the city will soon be requiring companies to provide up to five paid sick days you might as well take advantage too! So take those days, sit back and watch those ladies jabber. Oh, and don’t forget to check out Ellen too while you’re at home for the day. That Ellen…she’s a funny one, she is!
• Finally, your employees will love you. Sure the city is requiring you to provide paid sick days but you always supported that, right? You’re not some capitalist, profit-mongering, one-percenter who believes that people should actually get paid based on their value (like you are) and come to work at 7 a.m. (like you do), stay at work until 8 p.m. (like you do), suffer when business suffers (like you do) and have no guarantees in life (like you do). You don’t believe that. You embrace laws that guarantee wages and paid sick time and health care and your employees will love you for that. And someday, if you’re lucky, you can get rid of your business and work for someone else so you don’t have to worry anymore…like they do.
See? Told you. Required paid sick leave is fantastic news for employers and business owners. And you had your doubts, didn’t you?
Follow Gene Marks on Twitter.