You are here: Home / Articles / Survey Shows Most Hourly Employees Lose Pay When They Are Out Sick 

Survey Shows Most Hourly Employees Lose Pay When They Are Out Sick

Feb. 12, 2013

A new survey commissioned by The Workforce Institute™ at Kronos Incorporated and conducted by Harris Interactive reveals that while the majority of hourly workers are not paid for time they spend out sick, they often opt to stay home to, among other things, protect their co-workers from getting sick.

According to Joyce Maroney, director of The Workforce Institute at Kronos “For hourly employees for whom presence is required, calling out sick more often times than not means they won't be getting paid. Our survey shows that this is one of the top three considerations of hourly employees when considering whether or not to go to work sick. Particularly during a harsh flu season like the one we are in, employers should encourage sick employees to stay home when they are sick. An automated workforce management solution with mobile capabilities can help ease the burden on employers by making it easier and faster to find replacement workers.”

Key Findings:

  • Kronos' 2013 Sick at Work survey showed that a majority of hourly employees - 53 percent - are not paid when they are out sick.
  • Thirty-three percent of hourly employees said their employer discourages them from coming into work when they are sick, while 17 percent said their boss expected them to drag themselves into work no matter how sick they are.
  • When faced with the decision of whether to stay home or go to work when they are sick, the top three factors that hourly employees considered were:
    • “I don't want to pass my sickness onto my co-workers” (54 percent);
    • “My health comes first - I stay home when I am sick” (49 percent); and
    • “If I don't report to work, I don't get paid” (39 percent).
  • Thirty-eight percent of hourly workers said they feel grateful to co-workers who stay home when they are sick, 33 percent say it has no impact on them, and 21 percent say they are stressed because it means they have more to do.
  • When a manager is faced with hourly employees calling in sick, the next step is often to find a replacement worker. In terms of how this communication occurs, 70 percent of hourly workers are contacted by phone, 19 percent by text message, 13 percent by email, and just two percent via social media such as Facebook or Twitter.
  • Calling employees to find a replacement is a time-consuming and inefficient way of solving the problem. By automating workforce management processes with Kronos, organizations can take advantage of mobile solutions that enable an employer to send text messages to multiple employees at one time about an open shift - anywhere, anytime, and all with the click of a button. Organizations can configure the solution to take into consideration issues around union rules, overtime, and skill/certification constraints.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Kronos from January 24-28, 2013 among 2,474 adults ages 18 and older, among whom 604 are employed and paid an hourly wage. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact

Share your insights!

cross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram