With the Senate set to receive the new sick leave mandate this week regarding paid sick leave to employees, small business owners are getting concerned. Even given that this is likely a temporary measure, the bill could have a serious impact on the fate of numerous small businesses across the nation.
According to a recent study, approximately 85% of workers in the US do have some form of access to paid sick leave. And those who may not tend to be either part-time workers or those employed by small companies. Such employees and their smaller employers stand to be hurt by a federally funded sick leave program. By and large, many small businesses simply don't have the money or aren't yet profitable enough to provide paid leave. Already hugely strained by the coronavirus, their hands are only going to be tied even further and their businesses hugely disrupted.
As an example, say a small company with no more than ten employees has to now pay two workers who are out sick for two weeks. They then also have to pay the employees working overtime to cover for this absence, or perhaps even hire a temp worker. Being able to maintain any sort of cash flow will be a near impossibility.
Some have tossed about the idea of a government-funded sick leave; however, the length of time it would take to receive money from the government is time that many workers who live paycheck to paycheck may not have in this case. Essentially the coronavirus sick leave bill is a one size fits all approach that doesn't consider the plight of the small business owner in this crisis.
The key is to find balanced solutions that take into consideration both employees and those smaller employers who are struggling during this time.