The Daily Rundown

SMB News Daily Rundown: Update for June 9

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Small Business News Highlights for June 9: 

  • Small business employment rate takes small step forward
  • Managing PTO accrual when no one is going on vacation 
  • Starting a job during the pandemic can be a lonely experience 

Small business unemployment rate sees slight improvement

“May’s results hint that the small business job market quickly hit its bottom with the extraordinary job loss in April.” 

The small business unemployment rate inched down by 0.25% for the month of May, starting what many hope is the beginning of a comeback from the historic lows of the past months. 

Despite this small increase in small business jobs, SMBs report that they are largely optimistic about economic recovery prospects. In fact, 64% of leaders of small and midsize firms report that they expect their business to come back as strong or stronger than before the pandemic. 

Managing PTO during coronavirus

“They feared the cap would accumulate so quickly if no one took vacations for a few months. They went this route to eliminate high balances for people.”

So much time, so few places to go. 

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on many things, including summer vacation plans. With few options for travel or childcare, many employees are choosing to work instead of using PTO this summer. 

In California, accrued time off is considered a payable wage, meaning that unused PTO is a liability on the books of businesses and can make it difficult to secure financing or a line of credit. This has forced some companies to get creative in the ways they manage employees time off. 

For companies with caps, requiring employees to take off one day a week can help prevent accumulating too many days off. Other companies offer employees the chance to cash out a portion of their leave. Still other companies have made exceptions to established policies in light of the extenuating circumstance. 

Whatever route a company goes, legal and HR experts encourage companies to do what they can to accommodate employees and refrain from making an already tough situation worse.

Starting a new job during coronavirus proves to be lonely

“I am nervous to start from home and not be able to walk over to a teammate and ask a question.”

Despite massive layoffs across the nation and sky-high unemployment rates related to the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are still hiring new employees, and the process of starting a job when no one is going to the office has proven to be a strange, lonely experience for many workers

Companies in the IT, biotech, banking, and other sectors have continued to bring on new employees, often relying on all-virtual interviews and onboarding activities. The effect? New employees report steep learning curves, difficulty making connections with colleagues, and a more difficult time fully understanding the company culture. 

Even so, hiring managers point out that interviewing people from their home environment can have advantages and ultimately allow interviewers to get to know candidates on a deeper level. 

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