A majority of small businesses are not making Covid-19 vaccines or tests to return to work mandatory. The exception to that trend has only been seen so far among businesses in the health care and hospitality industries.
This was the finding of a report released by the US Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey (SBPS). The survey was sent out to approximately 100,000 businesses in mid-February 2021. Around 25,000 businesses responded.
The survey measures the effect the pandemic has had on the small business community. It is the latest Small Business Pulse Survey in a series of surveys designed to assess the impact of the health crisis.
In response to the question whether businesses require employees to have a negative Covid test before physically going to work, just 10% of respondents said yes. A large majority of 70.1% said they don’t have such requirements in place, and almost 20% said the question wasn’t applicable.
Most Businesses Not Requiring COVID Vaccine or Negative Tests from Employees
The two sectors that were found to be above the national average in requiring employees to have a negative test, were health care and hospitality. But even these industries are not heavily reliant on testing, with 15.5% requiring negative tests in health care and 14.3% in accommodation/food services.
The research is an important source of information to small businesses in all industries. It provides small business owners with vital insight as to the efforts being made by other organizations in response to the pandemic and the disruption it has created.
As Jane Callen, author of a report on the survey for the United States Census Bureau writes: “The value of the experimental data product is far-reaching providing decision-makers and the public with near real-time insight into the impact of events from the pandemic to natural disasters, on the small business economy.”
Proof of Covid-19 Vaccination
Small businesses were also asked about whether they have made it compulsory that employees have a Covid vaccination before physically coming to work. Just 2.2% of respondents said yes, 78.4% say they don’t require employees to have proof of vaccination. 19.4% said the question wasn’t applicable.
Health care is the largest sector requiring mandatory proof of vaccination, with 62% of respondents saying they do have such requirement in place.
The findings of the survey that only a handful of employers are currently making testing and vaccination compulsory will provide local, state and federal officials with vital, up-to-date data to make informed policy decisions.
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