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Survey: Smaller Businesses More Likely Than Larger Ones to Require Employees to Get COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Poll by PNC Financial Services Group finds that businesses with fewer than 100 employees have been more likely than larger businesses to require workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Business leaders whose workforces had a higher rate of vaccinated were more optimistic about their economic outlook than those whose workplaces had a lower rate of vaccination
  • Survey also identified heightened labor and inflation concerns

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Smaller businesses have been more likely than larger ones to require employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a survey by PNC Financial Services Group. The survey also found that companies with higher vaccination rates were more optimistic about their outlook for consumer demand, sales, and profits than those with lower vaccination rates.

Fifty-three percent of business leaders with fewer than 100 full-time employees said they had required their employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccines. This was more than twice the rate of 26 percent among businesses with 100 or more employees.

Seventy-nine percent said they’ve encouraged their employees to get vaccinated, with 44 percent offering assistance to receive a vaccine and 26 percent offering incentives. Forty-eight percent said they’ve established a vaccine requirement, while 24 percent had added restrictions for unvaccinated employees.

Seventy-eight percent said they thought the majority of their workforce is vaccinated, while 43 percent believed their entire workforce was vaccinated.

  • Business leaders cited labor challenges more often than supply or sales concerns, with respondents citing enhanced unemployment benefits, concerns about health and safety, changed worker priorities, or demands for higher pay as key issues
  • More than four in 10 respondents said they have started increasing compensation, offering more flexible schedules, or making employee health and safety improvements
  • Fifty-four percent said they expect to increase their prices due to inflationary pressures, with 36 percent planning price hikes of 5 percent or more
  • Despite the concerns, profit expectations for the next six months were at their highest point in the survey’s 19-year history
  • Only 47 percent had implemented remote work during the pandemic, and just 42 percent of these businesses had returned to a fully in-person work environment
  • One in four said they plan to transition to a hybrid schedule balancing remote and in-person work, and 9 percent said they plan to offer employees the option of choosing where they want to do their work
  • The survey collected 500 responses from business leaders in August

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