Although the vast majority of businesses implemented a written COVID-19 policy at one time or another, many have eliminated or stopped updating those policies.
That’s what I learned from a poll I posted on Friday using SurveyMonkey, to which 227 people responded. However, in full disclosure, I didn’t realize at the time that Survey Monkey limits unpaid plans like mine to only being able to view the first 25 responses.
(Next time, I’ll go back to Google Forms.)
But here’s what I learned based on reviewing a fraction of responses from all respondents.
- 92% of respondents have implemented a COVID-19 policy; 52% still have one
- Of those companies that adopted a COVID-19 policy, 83% did so by having it as a standalone policy (as opposed to adding it directly into the employee handbook)
- Most employers have kept their COVID-19 policies relatively up to date.
- 29% have updated it this year
- 36% last updated it in 2022
- 21% last updated it in 2021
- 14% last updated it in 2020
- For businesses that eliminated their COVID-19 policies, most did so this year.
- 47% ended it in 2023
- 30% ended it in 2022
- 27% ended it in 2021
- 7% ended it in 2020
Empirical data indicates that the severity of COVID-19 has declined. Yet, like the flu and other seasonal illnesses, COVID-19 is seemingly with us for the foreseeable future. Businesses are seemingly shifting their emphasis from COVID-19 to general workplace safety. Perhaps just reminding employees to stay home or work remotely (if possible) when they aren’t feeling well.
However, employers should be careful not to trivialize the impact that COVID-19 may have on some individuals. In rare cases, an employee with COVID-19 may be FMLA eligible. Additionally, the ADA may require employers to accommodate employees suffering from post-acute COVID-19 Syndrome or Long COVID.