Paid sick leave to protect income, health and jobs through the COVID-19 crisis

Countries responded quickly to the economic shock resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19 and associated containment by introducing a package of social and labour market measures to support workers and their families. This response has in many countries included expansions of paid sick leave, which have played a key role in protecting incomes, health and jobs during a health-driven labour market crisis. This brief discusses policy developments and evidence on the incidence of sick leave during the first three months of the crisis.It concludes that paid sick leave can be a particularly effective tool during de-confinement, as part of arigorous testing, tracking, tracingand isolating strategy. However, this requires a system that covers the entire workforce and with a focus on return to work.