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The impact of a sick pay waiting period on sick leave patterns

Catherine Pollak ()

The European Journal of Health Economics, 2017, vol. 18, issue 1, No 3, 13-31

Abstract: Abstract This article assesses how a waiting period for sick pay impacts sick leave patterns. In the French private sector, statutory sick benefits are granted after 3 days. However, 60 % of employers in this sector provide complementary sick pay to cover this waiting period. Linked employee–employer survey data compiled in 2009 are used to analyze the impact of this compensation on workers’ sick leave behavior. The assessment isolates the insurance effect (moral hazard) from individual and environmental factors relating to sick leave (including health and working conditions). Results suggest that employees who are compensated during the 3-day waiting period are not more likely to have an absence. On the contrary, their sickness leaves are significantly shorter by 3 days on average. These results could be explained by consequences of presenteeism and ex post moral hazard when employees are exposed to a waiting period.

Keywords: Sick leave; Moral hazard; Complementary sick pay; Hurdle model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J22 I13 J28 C24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1007/s10198-015-0755-0

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Handle: RePEc:spr:eujhec:v:18:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10198-015-0755-0