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Book part
Publication date: 11 July 2019

Alex Bryson and Harald Dale-Olsen

Higher replacement rates often imply higher levels of absenteeism, yet even in generous welfare economies, employers provide sick pay in addition to the public sick pay…

Abstract

Higher replacement rates often imply higher levels of absenteeism, yet even in generous welfare economies, employers provide sick pay in addition to the public sick pay. Using comparative population-representative workplace data for Britain and Norway, we show that close to 50% of private sector employers in both countries provide sick pay in excess of statutory sick pay. However, the level of statutory sick pay is also much higher in Norway than in Britain. In both countries, private sick pay as well as other benefits provided by employers are chosen by employers in a way that maximizes profits having accounted for different dimensions of labor costs. Several health-related privately provided benefits are often bundled. In both countries easy-to-train workers, high turnover and risky work are linked to less extensive employer provision of extended sick leave and sick pay in excess of statutory sick pay. In contrast, the presence of a trade union agreement is strongly correlated with both the provision of private sick pay and extended sick leave in Britain but not in Norway. We show that the sickness absence rate is much higher in Norway than in Britain. However, the higher level of absenteeism in Norway compared to Britain relates to the threshold for statutory sick pay in the Norwegian public sick pay legislation. When we take this difference into account, no significant difference remains.

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Health and Labor Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-861-2

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Book part
Publication date: 11 July 2019

Márton Csillag

This chapter examines the evolution of the number of days spent on sick leave following the 2011 reform which halved the maximum sick benefit provided by statutory health…

Abstract

This chapter examines the evolution of the number of days spent on sick leave following the 2011 reform which halved the maximum sick benefit provided by statutory health insurance in Hungary. This policy change sharply decreased benefits for a large group of high earners, while leaving the incentive to claim sickness benefits unchanged for lower earners, providing us with a “quasi-experimental” setup to identify the incentives effect of sickness benefits. We use a difference-in-differences type methodology to evaluate the short-term effect of the reform. We rely on high-quality administrative data and analyze a sample comprised of prime-age male employees with high earnings and stable employment. Our results show that the number of days spent on sick leave fell substantially for those experiencing the full halving of benefits. Estimating the response of the number of sick days with respect to the fall in potential sickness benefits, we find a significant elasticity of −0.45.

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Article
Publication date: 24 August 2021

Isa Norvell Gustavsson, Ulrika Müssener and Christian Ståhl

The aim of the study was to understand the social and organisational factors in the workplace that shape managers' actions and attitudes towards workers with repeated…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the study was to understand the social and organisational factors in the workplace that shape managers' actions and attitudes towards workers with repeated short-term sickness absence.

Design/methodology/approach

This was a qualitative interview study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 managers at 15 different workplaces. The analysis had an abductive approach, using thematic analysis which focused on the latent content of managers attitudes towards employees with repeated short-term sickness absence.

Findings

Results indicate that the managers' views of people on short-term sick leave shift and move through several phases, which was analysed as they were acts in a play, where their given roles are prescribing which actions to take given the available resources for acting these parts. These acts depict an increasingly controlling attitude, where the sick leave is ultimately seen as an individual problem best managed by repressive tactics.

Originality/value

Role theory offers the possibility to analyse managers' attitudes and behaviours by considering the workplace and the manager-employee relationship as regulated by norms and organisational factors.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Book part
Publication date: 5 January 2006

John E. Murray

Prior to widespread social insurance, European governments experimented with a variety of programs to protect workers from income loss due to illness. This paper examines…

Abstract

Prior to widespread social insurance, European governments experimented with a variety of programs to protect workers from income loss due to illness. This paper examines the consequences for worker absenteeism of making sickness insurance coverage voluntary or compulsory. Medical benefits appear to have reduced absenteeism for all workers. The effect of paid sick leave depended on insurance fund membership status. Better-paid workers found it easier to take time off in compulsory than in voluntary funds. Distinctive information problems plagued voluntary systems, and eventually were resolved by rejecting the voluntary ideal and forcing all workers into a single risk pool.

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Research in Economic History
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-379-2

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1997

Ulf Johanson

Suggests that this study may be recognized as a contribution to the lack of economic evaluations of investments in health promotion programmes. Also contributes to the…

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Abstract

Suggests that this study may be recognized as a contribution to the lack of economic evaluations of investments in health promotion programmes. Also contributes to the evaluation of the Swedish work life experiment in the beginning of the 1990s, and the establishment of the Swedish Work Life Fund (SWLF). States that perceptions of the profitability of investments in work life‐oriented rehabilitation, including changes in work organization, changes in work methods and competence development, were investigated in 108 randomly selected organizations. The findings indicate that the investments, which were partly financed by grants from the SWLF, contributed to a reduction in sickleave and an increase in productivity. The median value of the pay‐back period was estimated to be 3.0 years. Public organizations, a considerable number of employees, a high percentage of women employees, a significant reduction in sickleave and an ongoing organizational change, are some of the characteristics of investments with a short pay‐back period. Concludes that the findings further indicate that grants from the SWLF were an important factor in the initial implementation of investments.

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Personnel Review, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 19 March 2021

Wen Wang and Roger Seifert

The study intends to examine employee relations with a changing workforce resulting from the business-like transformation in the charity sector. The authors investigated…

Abstract

Purpose

The study intends to examine employee relations with a changing workforce resulting from the business-like transformation in the charity sector. The authors investigated sector-specific employment practices that can alleviate job stress (as a given and which has been made worse by the transformation). Developed from the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation framework, the findings can inform human resource management practices in its new efficiency-seeking business model.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors collected both quantitative (through a staff survey and administrative records of sick leave in the previous 12 months) and qualitative data (through interviews and focus groups) from one branch of an internationally well-established and UK-based religious charity between 2017 and 2018.

Findings

The quantitative results support a strong mediating effect of job satisfaction between job stress and staff sick leave. The negative correlation shown between job stress and job satisfaction is subject to paid staff perception of meaningful work and their level of involvement in decision-making, with the latter having a stronger moderating effect. The qualitative data provides further contextualized evidence on the findings.

Practical implications

It is important for charities to uphold and reflect their charitable mission towards beneficiaries and paid staff during the shift to an efficiency-seeking business model. Charities should involve their new professional workforce in strategic decision-making to better shape a context-based operational model.

Originality/value

The study examined employee relations in the non-profit charity sector with a changing workforce during the transition to a more business-oriented model. In particular, the authors revealed sector-specific factors that can moderate the association between job stress and absenteeism, and thereby contribute to the understanding of human resource management practices in the sector.

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Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 43 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Book part
Publication date: 30 May 2018

Nicolas R. Ziebarth

This chapter reviews the existing empirical evidence on how social insurance affects health. Social insurance encompasses programs primarily designed to insure against…

Abstract

This chapter reviews the existing empirical evidence on how social insurance affects health. Social insurance encompasses programs primarily designed to insure against health risks, such as health insurance, sick leave insurance, accident insurance, long-term care insurance, and disability insurance as well as other programs, such as unemployment insurance, pension insurance, and country-specific social insurance programs. These insurance systems exist in almost all developed countries around the world. This chapter discusses the state-of-the art evidence on each of these social insurance systems, briefly reviews the empirical methods for identifying causal effects, and examines possible limitations to these methods. The findings reveal robust and rich evidence on first-stage behavioral responses (“moral hazard”) to changes in insurance coverage. Surprisingly, evidence on how changes in coverage impact beneficiaries’ health is scant and inconclusive. This lack of identified causal health effects is directly related to limitations on how human health is typically measured, limitations on the empirical approaches, and a paucity of administrative panel data spanning long-time horizons. Future research must be conducted to fill these gaps. Of particular importance is evidence on how these social insurance systems interact and affect human health over the life cycle.

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2003

Reagan Baughman, Daniela DiNardi and Douglas Holtz‐Eakin

Family‐supportive employment benefits have become increasingly popular in recent years as an employer response to the increasing labor force participation of women, and…

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Abstract

Family‐supportive employment benefits have become increasingly popular in recent years as an employer response to the increasing labor force participation of women, and the consequent need to balance work and family life. Economic theory predicts that these types of fringe benefits could at least partially pay for themselves through a combination of increased productivity and lower wages. A survey of 120 employers in an upstate New York county provides data on benefits packages and outcome measures that are used to test this hypothesis. We find that employers who offer flexible sick leave and child care assistance experience measurable reductions in turnover. Employers who offer benefits like flexible scheduling policies and child care also appear to offset part of the cost of these benefits by paying lower entry‐level wages than do their competitors.

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International Journal of Manpower, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 24 February 2021

Samantha M. Riedy, Desta Fekedulegn, Bryan Vila, Michael Andrew and John M. Violanti

To characterize changes in work hours across a career in law enforcement.

Abstract

Purpose

To characterize changes in work hours across a career in law enforcement.

Design/methodology/approach

N = 113 police officers enrolled in the BCOPS cohort were studied. The police officers started their careers in law enforcement between 1994 and 2001 at a mid-sized, unionized police department in northwestern New York and continued to work at this police department for at least 15 years. Day-by-day work history records were obtained from the payroll department. Work hours, leave hours and other pay types were summarized for each calendar year across their first 15 years of employment. Linear mixed-effects models with a random intercept over subject were used to determine if there were significant changes in pay types over time.

Findings

A total of 1,617 individual-years of data were analyzed. As the police officers gained seniority at the department, they worked fewer hours and fewer night shifts. Total paid hours did not significantly change due to seniority-based increases in vacation time. Night shift work was increasingly in the form of overtime as officers gained seniority. Overtime was more prevalent at the beginning of a career and after a promotion from police officer to detective.

Originality/value

Shiftwork and long work hours have negative effects on sleep and increase the likelihood of on-duty fatigue and performance impairment. The results suggest that there are different points within a career in law enforcement where issues surrounding shiftwork and long work hours may be more prevalent. This has important implications for predicting fatigue, developing effective countermeasures and measuring fatigue-related costs.

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Policing: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 20 December 2019

Shweta Belwal, Rakesh Belwal and Suhaila Ebrahim Al-Hashemi

The purpose of this paper is to take cognisance of the work–life balance (WLB) challenges facing working women in Oman, make a review of the family-friendly policies…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to take cognisance of the work–life balance (WLB) challenges facing working women in Oman, make a review of the family-friendly policies (FFPs), related provisions in labour laws of various nations, and identify and suggest some FFP-based solutions for attracting women to private sector jobs.

Design/methodology/approach

Initially, desk research was used to review the labour laws of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and some pioneering countries known for their workplace policies using the major electronic databases and official websites. An exploratory approach was used to understand the lived experience of participants using 46 in-depth interviews. The data were analysed and the findings were explained and contextualised in terms of the Arab culture, wider social processes and consequences related to WLB.

Findings

The interviews revealed that the majority of women in the private sector are not fully aware of the labour laws and FFPs, and are not satisfied with the existing policies, as they do not provide the right WLB. Women in the private sector demand flexible working hours, privacy at work, reduced work hours and certain other benefits akin to the government sector. Omani Labour Law needs a review of FFPs in line with the best global practices and Oman’s diversification initiatives. The provision, awareness and implementation of FFPs in the workplace are necessary to attract Omani women to private sector jobs.

Research limitations/implications

This research focusses on Oman in particular and GCC countries in general in its coverage of Omani women workers. The outcomes would be important for the specific segment but would have limited potential to generalise.

Practical implications

The study of WLB and FFPs is of interest for both academia and industry globally. In its strategic vision 2040, Oman aims to encourage, support and develop the private sector to drive the national economy. To retain and boost the socio-economic development in the post-oil economy, the success of the private sector will depend on the participation of the Omani workforce. The role of working Omani women will be pivotal, for they form a substantial part of the skilled human resources inventory.

Social implications

Women working in Oman are influenced by labour laws, organisational culture, traditional attitudes and societal values and influences. The voices of women working in the private sector indicate a great need to create awareness of existing policies, ensure their compliance and devise additional workplace policies to enable women to contribute to the labour market.

Originality/value

There is a dearth of studies examining work policies and employment of women in the context of Oman in particular and the GCC Countries in general. Even in the extant literature, the sectoral imbalance between the government and private sector has not been explored from the perspective of WLB and FFPs. This study presents a unique approach and findings in this regard.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 42 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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