Survey Finds a Significant Increase in COVID-19 Leave

Masked woman handing food

After more than a year with the pandemic many see the swift roll out of vaccines as a signal of better times, especially in the workforce as reports show that nearly a 3rd of the US population has been fully vaccinated. However, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) released a recent survey that points to less than ideal data in regards to the increase in COVID-19 leave small business workers are taking.

Since the start of the pandemic, the NFIB has released a monthly survey reporting data related to how COVID-19 has affected small businesses. The most recent survey reports that more than half of small business owners, specifically 53%, has had workers take sick or family leave related to COVID-19.

With around 300,000 members, the NFIB boasts itself as the largest small business association in the US. Based in Nashville, Tennessee the NFIB conducts surveys by creating an extensive questionnaire for small business owners to better gage how they have been faring throughout the pandemic. The most recent survey got its data from compiling responses of over 550 small business owners.

Comparing past surveys from the NFIB shows that the recent data in late April was a significant increase as back in May of 2020 only 13% of small business workers took COVID-19 leave. Moreover, the survey from December of 2020 reported only a quarter of small business workers taking COVID-19 leave. The percentage then remained stable for many months until NFIB’s most recent survey saw that number increase to more than half.

From the recent survey showing that 53% of small business employees are taking leave for COVID-19, the survey also reveals that 70% are being paid during their leave, 13% are taking an unpaid leave, and 17% are only partly paid for their leave.

Another, interesting point of data the NFIB has collected is small business owner’s standing on the COVID-19 vaccine. The NFIB has gone on to survey small businesses owners regarding their stand on whether they themselves will get vaccinated and whether they will encourage their workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The results show that in both inquiries small business owners are sharply divided. In terms of whether small business owners will themselves get vaccinated, NFIB reported that about half of owners have already been vaccinated, with another 9% saying they will get vaccinated in the near future. In contrast, 37% of owners said they do not plan to get vaccinated at all.

The split was about the same for the survey conducted on whether small business owners will encourage their employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. 46% of small business owners responded that they will promote and encourage their workers to get vaccinated. Another 3% of small business owners even said they will make it a requirement to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The other half of the respondents said they will neither encourage nor mandate their employees to get vaccinated.

Source: Law360

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