One quibble with his piece. Madrigal writes, “No policy solution could have intervened in our situation. The variables were few and personal: two parents, two jobs, one sick kid.” But in fact, there’s one policy solution that would help in the U.S., which is paid sick days for everyone. I assume that Madrigal gets paid sick days, but nearly 40 million Americans don’t. And if you don’t have paid sick days, a sick kid and two working parents doesn’t just mean a few days of stress; it means you might have to choose between caring for your kid and keeping your job.That is from a Slate.com article entitled "When A Kid Is Sick, Why Is It Mom Who Stays Home?"
I agree that paid sick leave is a wonderful fringe benefit. It's a fringe benefit that carries a real and demonstrable economic price tag for the employer. That is to say, your "compensation package" as an employee of any firm consists of (1) your salary, (2) your bonus, (3) your paid time off, (4) your insurance, and (5) your additional perks. Adding up the monetary value of all of these things arrives at a bottom-line value that you are paid for performing services for the company.
Of course, compelling employers to provide (3) to all their employees would likely mean a decrease in salaries, or bonuses, or the frequency of raises, or etc.
There's a flip side to this. Some people - especially young workers and very poor workers - would rather have the cash than the time off. If they choose to work for companies with cash-heavy compensation packages rather than expansive PTO policies, who could blame them? After all, time is money, and the way one likes to get paid is a personal preference.
In short, I don't think the author of the piece, one Jessica Grose, has ever taken the time to fully understand that time is money.