Millions of Americans are now working from home or are out of work as a result of the pandemic, with stay-at-home orders issued for all but a handful of states in more rural areas. Employers throughout the country are grappling with both the health and economic impact of COVID-19, as many continue to operate remotely with full or partial staff and many needing to layoff and furlough employees due to losses.
The second edition of the Alera COVID-19 Employer Pulse Survey explores the impact of the pandemic and offers insights into how employers throughout the country and in various industries are navigating employee health, benefits and human resources issues in the changing landscape. It also seeks to understand how and when employers plan to bring employees back into the workplace as stay-at-home orders are lifted.
Key Findings at a Glance
The survey verified that employers throughout the country are focused on some common issues:
- More Prepared: Since the last pulse survey, more companies have put a formal infectious disease response plan in place, and another 46% are putting one in place now or are considering adding one. Few companies are not considering putting a plan in place.
- Furloughs and Lay Offs Prevalent: Although a third of companies have furloughed employees, the majority plan to bring furloughed employees back to work within three months. About a quarter of employers have laid employees off as a result of COVID-19, compared to 17% at the time of the first pulse survey.
- Supporting Employees: For employees who have been unable to work because of COVID-19, the majority of employers are providing full pay through company sick leave, PTO, vacation banks, statutory requirements and/or a COVID-19 company program. These policies are primarily applied to all employees throughout the organization.
- The Road to Return to Work: The majority of employers expect to begin bringing employees back into the workplace in the next three months. The most common approach to return to the workplace is a phased approach after each stay-at-home order is lifted.
- Steps to Keep Employees Safe in the Workplace: Companies are taking a variety of actions to keep employees safe, such as increasing the frequency and depth of cleaning in the workplace, providing protective gear, and limiting employee contact in common areas.
The survey was conducted online from May 18 to May 29, 2020, and consisted of 804 employers across various sizes, industries and regions. The results are broken down by employer size, region, and industry where there are differences and sample sizes are sufficient.
Want to learn more about the Alera Group Pulse Survey Part 2: Employer Impacts? Read the report by clicking below!