While a large percentage of cleaning businesses are too small to be covered by Family and Medical Leave Act requirement, those with 50+ employees for at least 20 weeks of the year do. According to the NPR's Jennifer Ludden, "the only federally mandated leave covers just half of the workforce." Currently, the Department of Labor does not require the leave to be paid, so most workers can't afford to take it. For business owners, the financial burden on a company is limited to hiring and training a temporary replacement or divvying up the duties for a short time.
But an increasing trend may change that as New York because the fourth US state to mandate paid parental leave, the most generous of the packages. In addition, the city of San Francisco has also mandated paid leave at full wage or salary.
As cleaning company and maid service owners consider growth goals, keep in mind the FTE benchmarks for additional costs. In an industry where 90-95% of the workforce - in the field and in the office - are women, the costs are likely to be higher than in other industries where the mix is more balanced.
Here's what cleaning business owners should consider tracking now to prepare for this cost in the future:
- # births/adoptions by employees
- average weekly wages of those employees
- cost of hiring a replacement
- cost of training a replacement
The latter two are recommended key performance indicators for any service business. The former are designed to help businesses establish a baseline for budgeting and bill rate increases when a similar mandate is implement in your state or nationwide.