COVID-19 Leads to Greater Employer Focus on Response Planning, Employee Education and Flexible Work Arrangements, Alera Group Study Finds
COVID-19 is leading many employers to implement or re-evaluate their infectious disease response plans, ramp-up their employee communication efforts, and offer flexible work arrangements to address childcare and remote work challenges, a new Alera Group study finds. The Alera Group 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.
The study identified five key findings:
- Over 50% of employers surveyed with 100 or more employees will implement formal infectious disease policies as a result of COVID-19.
- Most employers, regardless of size, region, or industry, are educating their employees several times a week about prevention techniques, COVID-19 symptoms and employee benefits.
- Hiring freezes and social distancing measures are prevalent and layoffs and furloughs are rising as a result of shutdowns.
- The majority of employers surveyed are allowing employees to use their paid time off and some are assisting with childcare issues. Telemedicine is becoming more of a focus.
- The impact of COVID-19 varies by industry, with manufacturing, non-profit, healthcare, professional and finance/insurance organizations having a slightly more positive outlook.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is raising questions among employers about employee benefits policies and coverages as a result of remote work arrangements, childcare challenges, and furloughs,” said Sally Prather, National Employee Benefits Leader at Alera Group.
“Despite the severity of the situation, employers are promoting resilience through EAP and wellness resources, and where onboarding can continue, turning to virtual methods,” said Karen English, Senior Vice President at Spring Consulting Group, an Alera Group company.
Continued English, “As employers work to navigate this current crisis, proactive response planning, re-evaluating benefits policies and plans, and leveraging health and benefits technology will be keys to preparing for future wide-spread disruptions.”
The Alera Group survey was conducted online from March 27 to April 6, 2020, and consisted of 831 employers across various sizes, industries and regions. Special thanks to Lai-Sahn Hackett, Consultant and Director of Market Research at Spring Consulting Group, an Alera Group company, for leading the survey design and analysis efforts. You can view the full report here.
About Alera Group
With over 80 firms across the country and nearly 2,000 teammates, Alera Group works together to deliver solutions in employee benefits, property and casualty, retirement services and wealth management. Built on a unique model of collaboration, Alera Group is now the 17th largest independent insurance agency in the United States. For more information, visit aleragroup.com.