Welcome to the Small Business Rundown. Each day, we bring you stories that impact small business owners and their workforce.
Small Business News Highlights for July 10:
- Hiring outlook continues to cause concern
- Retail workers increasingly forced to enforce mask ordinances
- COVID-19 pandemic testing employer PTO policies
Hiring outlook continues to cause concern
“The recovery in new hiring has yet to begin.”
While the numbers from last week’s unemployment data have crept up from the recent dip in the middle of last month, economists point to another trouble data point: the number of new job postings remains grim, with the majority of recent hirings reflecting people who are coming back to work after being furloughed or temporarily laid off.
As one economist notes, finding new jobs will be difficult due to “scarring” in the economy. As large companies file for bankruptcy, close locations, and lay off and furlough workers, surging cases in hot spots like Texas and Arizona further compound the rocky road to stabilizing the economy.
Retail workers increasingly forced to enforce mask ordinances
“State and local governments have taken different approaches, but they all have one thing in common: They leave business owners and employees to change peoples’ behavior at a time when tempers are already running high.”
More than 20 U.S. states now require people to wear masks in public. Yet the continuing politicization of the issue and the lack of uniform enforcement means that frontline workers and retail employees are often left to confront noncompliant people.
There are no federal guidelines requiring masks and the CDC has changed their position on the importance of face coverings for preventing the spread of the virus over the course of the pandemic. Furthermore, even when employees are willing to take a stand against maskless shoppers, some employers instruct them not to confront shoppers despite a recent study that indicates that wearing masks could drastically help the economy.
COVID-19 pandemic testing employer PTO policies
“Universally, we’re hearing from employers that employees are taking less time off than they would have when the pandemic started.”
So much time, so few options for places to go. With summer well under way, many people are choosing to forego going on vacation in order to protect the health and safety of their families, and their jobs.
Many employers have very specific PTO plans in place, and the limits of their flexibility are being tested as the pandemic continues. Businesses with use it or lose it policies are forced to evaluate their stance on accrual, while the question of who gets to take time off first when travel restrictions ease up.