Over at Townhall.com today, IWF vice president Carrie Lukas talks about the Healthy Families Act (which would require businesses with 15 or more employees to provide seven days of paid sick leave per year). The consequences of such regulation aren’t nearly as positive as you might think:
“Such government regulations infringe on an individual’s right to freely contract for employment. These laws make it illegal to offer or accept a job that fails to provide this one specific form of compensation. That’s a loss of liberty for individuals. It makes our workplaces a little less flexible, and is another step away from the concept of the free market economy and toward greater government control.
“The practical effect for employees is that there will be fewer jobs and lower pay. Mandates create new costs for employers, and that means less money for employees. Many workers will find that there is a direct trade-off between more benefits and more take-home pay. Benefits accounted for more than 30 percent of the average worker?s total compensation in 2006. A new mandate like paid leave means that this portion will grow, leaving less money in the average worker’s pocket to spend or save as he sees fit.
“The increased cost of hiring a worker also gives employers another reason to cut down on staff and look for opportunities to outsource jobs, so they don’t have to pay to administer and implement these costly benefits.”
So, if government intervention isn’t the answer, what is? Read the rest of Carrie’s piece for some potential market solutions to deal with paid leave.