QUINCY (WGEM) – A new Illinois law requiring mandatory paid time off has been enacted.
It allows people working a minimum of 40 hours a week to earn one hour of PTO for every week they work 40 hours.
Kyle Moore, the President of the Great River Economic Development Foundation, said there’s still a hiring shortage throughout the Tri-States. He said at any given time in Adams County alone, there can be up to 650 open jobs.
He said companies have taken steps to attract workers by increasing pay and benefits, and even offering tuition reimbursement. He said they’ve even seen small businesses like restaurants and retail shops offer paid time off, something they usually don’t do. However, with the new law making it mandatory for all businesses, he said they’ve heard concerns from area businesses.
“What we’re hearing really are concerns about first, how do they keep their books, how do they make sure that as an employee accrues paid time off, how are they making sure that they’re accurately reflecting what the employee has earned,” Moore said.
Moore said businesses are concerned about keeping track of an employee’s PTO and how to record them so they can follow state guidelines. He said there are also concerns for budgeting PTO as well. He said this could harm economic development due to the added cost.
Moore said there is some potential that workers in Iowa and Missouri wanting extra PTO might come over the river to work in Illinois.
Jon Meckler, the Regional Director for Chick’s Restaurants, said this could be a great opportunity for restaurants.
Meckler said restaurants are known for their turnover rates, and he thinks the new mandatory PTO law might help reduce that turnover rate. He said Chick’s offers PTO for higher-level employees, but with this, for all employees who work a minimum of 40 hours a week, it would be great for them. He said it can provide an incentive for employees to stay, but also be a good recruiting tool as well.
“Getting more quality applicants that know they can be taken care of better and have better benefits because restaurants are kind of known for not having the benefits of vacation time, sick, pay leave and all that and this could help bridge that gap a little bit,” Meckler said.
Meckler said this could attract more full-time workers to restaurants as well. He said if there are more full-time workers they could give workers more responsibility, such as ordering supplies or working more around the food. He said something like this could also help boost morale in the restaurant industry.
Moore said for businesses wanting information on how to keep track of their employees’ PTO or assistance navigating the law, he encourages them to call the Great River Economic Development Foundation at 217-223-4313.
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