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How employers are responding to COVID-19: Paid time off


Alight recently conducted a brief survey to get a pulse on how employers across the U.S. are responding to COVID-19. We’ll continue to share our findings here, so check back regularly for the latest insights.
As employers await legislation that will likely include a paid sick leave policy for those impacted by COVID-19, many organizations are moving ahead without federal or state mandates to address the needs of their employees. Today, we’re sharing some early prevalence on paid time off (PTO) policies.

Extended sick leave/PTO policy in response to COVID-19

Yes, implemented already or planning to implement
No, and not planning to make changes without federal or state mandates
Under consideration

Roughly half of employers have already implemented or are planning to implement an extended sick leave or PTO policy. Many others indicated they are still evaluating their strategy, with roughly one-third of employers saying they are waiting for federal or state legislation before making a decision.

4 out of 5 employers are making extended sick leave/PTO available to all employees

Workers eligible for extended sick leave/PTO

Many employers, however, are specifying that additional sick leave or PTO can only be used for circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The additional time off is intended to be used by employees who are directly impacted by COVID-19, including those that have tested positive, may have been exposed or employees who need to care for their children as the result of school closings.

Employees who are quarantined due to possible exposure to the virus (e.g., family member diagnosed or symptomatic, exposed by another source)
Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19
Employees who have symptoms of COVID-19, but have not been diagnosed
Employees who are unable to work because their work location is closed (and are unable to telecommute)
Employees who are unable to work because schools are closed

Length of time for extended sick leave/PTO

14 days (length of time for recommended quarantine)

74% of employers have set their extended leave time at 14 days, with the rest considering longer periods of time depending on how the virus progresses and the needs of the business and their workers.

Survey based on 205 respondents, spread across all employer sizes

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