How Employers Can Address Workforce COVID-19 Absences

Helpside discusses adjusting paid and unpaid leave policies now that the COVID-19 paid leave tax credits have ended.

Since the tax breaks for employers offering COVID-19 sick leave ended on September 30, 2021, employers have been faced with decisions about how to address the issue of COVID-19 leave time. Employers must weigh the financial costs of paid leave with the risks of COVID-19 spreading in their workplace. Employers have a few possible options to balance these factors.

  1. Employers can continue to offer paid leave out of their pocket. While this is costly, it greatly decreases the risks of an employee coming to work with COVID-19. Of course, state paid sick leave laws still apply and some states have even expanded these requirements since 2020. 

  2. Some employers are choosing to increase the number of sick days or amount of PTO for employees. This offers a middle-ground option if you will not be adding COVID-19 specific leave time. 

  3. What we see most small and medium-sized businesses doing is encouraging employees to use their existing PTO if they need time off due to COVID-19. In states where additional sick leave is not required, this is often the most cost-effective solution. Employers typically pair this with unpaid leave options if employees do not have available PTO, or don’t wish to use their PTO. This option, while it won’t incentivize employees taking leave, allows for employees to take the time they need to quarantine if they test positive or are exposed to COVID-19. 

  4. When possible, it can be helpful to consider temporary work-from-home options for employees who are quarantining due to COVID-19 exposure. This allows employees to work and earn income without spreading COVID-19 to others. 

Additionally, employers need to take FMLA and ADA into account. COVID-19 may be a qualifying reason for FMLA. The ADA affects employees who may have lingering COVID-19 symptoms and allows employees to request reasonable accommodations from employers. 

No matter their leave policy, employers should communicate often with their employees about the company’s commitment to keeping everyone healthy. Encourage employees to stay home if they have been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19. Make it clear that employees are expected to follow CDC guidelines regarding quarantine, and isolation.

Employers who have questions about the end of the tax credits for COVID-19 paid leave or adjusting their paid and unpaid leave policies to accommodate COVID-19 can reach out to the Helpside HR Team at

About the Organization:

Helpside offers small businesses payroll, employee benefits, human resources, and risk management solutions. Their division of experts gives small businesses a competitive advantage and allows them to compete with larger companies. Helpside also helps businesses reduce their benefits costs, as much as 20%. Helpside gives business owners more time and energy to focus on running their organization, along with the peace of mind that comes from having their essential management needs handled by experts.

Media Contact
Company Name: Helpside
Contact Person: Samantha Reynolds
Email: Send Email
Phone: (208) 813-6273
Address:395 W. 600
City: N. Lindon
State: UT 84042
Country: United States