Should You Update Your Company Sick Policy Post COVID?
Before the COVID-19 pandemic began, how many times did you go into work sick?
If you did, you are not alone, not even close. In January of 2020 - studies showed 74% of workers felt pressured to avoid taking sick days and when the survey was geared solely towards the younger generation that number increased to a resounding 88%.
It was a common theme in the workplace to only call in sick when you were basically on your deathbed and a lesser issue, such as a cold or fever, was not enough to qualify for a call-off.
Whether the reason was fear of losing your job, money, or even a promotion, people tended to go to work with mild illnesses that could in fact be contagious.
Things changed last year with the emerging pandemic. Millions of businesses were forced to close their doors to both employees and customers and move to remote work. Those able to stay open had strictly enforced regulations including temperature checks before entering the building and quarantines for being exposed to the virus.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which gave employees up to 80 hours of paid sick leave to care for themselves or family members. Unemployment also received huge boosts to provide assistance to those unable to work during this time.
During the pandemic businesses did not have much of a choice in the updates to their sick policies, but now that the worst has passed and vaccinations are now accessible to all, how many changes are going to be made permanent?
Many of the effects of COVID-19 were devastating and brought about negative changes, but there were also quite a few positive results. Consistent handwashing and sanitizing of hands, keeping a distance from others, being aware of contagious symptoms, and taking action when they are present are some that are positive changes to stick to.
In the workplace, it will be important to make any changes to the existing sick policy that can ensure employees feel comfortable calling off as needed. 74% of people going into work sick is not ideal and it is up to employers to bring that number down.
If possible employers should add paid sick days to their policy, as after the last year we can see that option is a lot less costly than a global pandemic.
If not possible, employers should remove call-offs for being sick from any point systems or policies that provide negative results. Keeping employees and consumers safe should continue to be a number one priority.
SERVPRO has the knowledge and training to clean and disinfect businesses to CDC standards to help maintain this level of safety. Call today to receive more information on how we can help with any post-pandemic safety needs.