News & Announcements

2020 Coronavirus Next Steps Survey

Posted Tuesday, March 31, 2020 6:28 am

A few weeks ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has reached pandemic levels.  The WHO defines a pandemic as an “epidemic that is occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people.”

As reported in recent days, Governor Ige signed a third supplementary proclamation ordering the entire state to “stay at home and work from home” between March 25th through April 30th .   Those deemed as essential workers are exempt, along with various business service categories.

A few weeks ago, the Council shared results from the 2020 Coronavirus Preparedness Survey, where hundreds of local employers across the entire state participated (this can be found on the Hawaii Employers Council website).

In light of the continued impact on businesses, the Hawaii Employers Council launched the “Coronavirus Next Steps Survey”.  With the understanding that preparedness actions are fluid, we are pleased to share the outcomes of this survey that was conducted between March 19th through March 25th

More than 800 Hawaii employers were invited to participate, and we received responses from more than 200 employers.  Understanding the situation is very fluid and changing by the hour, the survey outcomes shared in this report may have changed as employers are revising policies and considering new levels of flexibility.

The survey outcomes cover employers across all islands and spans eighteen industries.

 

More than two-thirds of participating employers (69.5%) operate on one island only, with 30.5% operating on multiple islands.  Below is the breakdown of participating employers who have operations on one island only (listed in order of the most responses received):

Island

Percent Representation

Oahu

76.1%

Hawaii Island

10.3%

Maui

6.5%

Kauai

5.8%

Molokai

1.3%

Although, more than two-thirds of employers are located on one island, there are many employers (30.5%) represented on multiple islands.

# of island locations

Percent Representation

One island

69.5%

Two islands

8.1%

Three islands

4.5%

Four or more islands

17.9%

There were a variety of multiple island combinations, the four most common combinations that were represented are shared in the below table.

Island Combination

Percent Representation

Various multiple Island combination (other than those listed in this table)

33.8%

Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

32.4%

Hawaii, Oahu

13.2%

Hawaii, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, Oahu

10.3%

Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, Molokai, Oahu

10.3%

Varying sizes of companies were reported (based on the number of employees as of March 1, 2020).

Employment Size

Percent Representation

< 50 employees

51.1%

50 < 150 employees

21.5%

150 < 400 employees

14.8%

400 < 1,000 employees

6.3%

1,000+ employees

6.3%

Next Steps Practices

Over three-fourths (83.0%) of participating employers either have or are in the process of developing a coronavirus policy.  Nearly half (49.8%) currently have a policy in place, while one-third (33.2%) are in the process of developing a policy.  A small number (17.0%) of employers do not have a policy at this time.

When looking at the data from an employment size and an overall average perspective, 83.0% of all participating employers either have a plan or are in the process of developing a plan.

Employers with a Business Continuity Plan
(Based on employment size)

Employment Size

Yes

No, in process of developing

No

< 50 employees

50.9%

32.5%

16.6%

50 < 150 employees

62.5%

29.2%

8.3%

150 < 400 employees

39.4%

42.4%

18.2%

400 < 1,000 employees

28.6%

42.8%

28.6%

1,000+ employees

42.9%

21.4%

35.7%


Coronavirus Policy areas of coverage 

Participating employers were requested to select various items covered within their coronavirus policy from a list of options.  The table below shares the options made available for selection and the percentage of responses received for each option (listed in order of the most responses received).

Covered area

% of responses received

Mandated self-quarantine

20.5%

Remote work

20.3%

Travel restrictions for business

20.3%

Leave options for self-quarantine

16.7%

Travel restrictions for vacation

13.2%

Return to work pay policy

8.9%

 The top three combinations utilized by 92.8% of employers from the above covered areas are provided below (listed in order of the most responses received):

Areas covered combinations – most utilized

Remote work

Mandated self-quarantine

Travel restrictions for business

Leave options for self-quarantine

Travel restrictions for vacation

Return to work pay policy

Remote work

Mandated self-quarantine

Travel restrictions for business

Leave options for self-quarantine

Travel restrictions for vacation

 

Remote work

Mandated self-quarantine

Travel restrictions for business

Leave options for self-quarantine

 

 


Healthcare coverage

Understanding the importance of supporting employees during this time, participants were asked if their company is planning to maintain healthcare coverage for employees (who would otherwise not be eligible because of reduced work hours) with no changes during this “watch and see” period (beginning mid-March through April/May).

Over half (53.9%) of participating employers plan to provide healthcare coverage for employees for one to three months. 

Some employers (21.5%) are unsure of their plans, while 22% have other timeframes of coverage falling into the below categories:

  • as long as possible
  • for the period of business closure
  • Indefinite with benchmark timeframes of re-evaluation

A handful of employers (2.7%) are not able to provide healthcare coverage outside of their normal business practices.

Merit Adjustments

Although focal point merits are commonly used, the timeframe varies depending on the financial cycle of a business.  Therefore, 27.9% of employers have shared under the “other category” that merit adjustments occurred prior to the timeframe of this survey.

Over one-third of participating employers (39.0%) have not decided how merit adjustments would be impacted with this very fluid situation.  Others (18.8%) have decided to delay merit adjustments with continued re-evaluation, while a smaller group (14.3%) has decided that no merit pay adjustments will occur this year.

2019 Incentive payouts

Participants were requested to share the company’s stance on the payout of 2019 incentive payouts (typically processed by March 31st).  More than two-thirds of participating employers (70.9%) selected “not applicable”, since incentive payouts were either processed prior to this survey or the company does not have incentive payouts to process,

Of the remaining employers, most (72.3%) have not made a decision on the handling of incentive payouts.

Handling of Sales Commission

Many employers (76.2%) reported not having a sales commission program. 

For the rest of the employers, over one-third (39.6%) will provide the base salary and average sales commission, another group (37.7%) has not decided on how compensation will be handled, while 22.6% will provide base salary only.

Additional Paid Leave

This survey was conducted prior to the finalizing of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), therefore the outcomes are reflective of that timeframe.  The Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA or Act requires certain employers to provide their employees with two weeks paid sick leave– 80 hours for full-time employees and a two-week equivalent for part-time employees (effective April 1, 2020).

More than two-thirds of the responses (67.3%) indicate that employers are either not providing additional leave or are still deciding if they will.  Nearly a third (32.7%) of employers reported the providing of some type of additional leave (see chart below for details).

Additional Leave Options

Percent Representation

No

41.1%

No, still under discussion

26.2%

Yes, other

14.0%

Yes, will cover 14 days quarantine

13.7%

Yes, will provide negative vacation or pto

5.0%


Remote Work

For those employers with jobs that could potentially be done remotely, over half of those employers (65.1%) have been either encouraging or requiring employees to work remotely.  One-fourth (25.6%) are monitoring the situation and have not made a decision yet.

Other measures being utilized

Employers are utilizing a variety of measures to manage their workforce during this challenging time, as shared in the below table (listed in order of the most responses received).

Other Measures being taken

Percent Representation

Reduced work week

25.0%

None of these measures

25.0%

Furlough

16.9%

Reduction in Force

14.2%

Other

10.0%

Salary reductions

7.2%

Suspension of 401(k) match

1.7%

The top four combinations utilized from the above covered areas are provided below (listed in order of the most responses received):

Areas covered combinations – most utilized

Furlough

Reduced work week

Reduction in Force

 

Furlough

Reduced work week

 

 

Furlough

Reduced work week

Reduction in Force

Salary reductions

Reduced work week

Reduction in Force

 

 


Handling of workforce during temporary closure

When asked to report how they plan to handle the workforce during the event of temporary closure, many employers (44.4%) would allow employees to work from home if available.

Workforce Handling

Percent Representation

Allow employees to work from home if available

44.4%

All employees to telecommute (work from home and office)

24.2%

Will close temporarily and compensation will continue for certain jobs

16.9%

Will close temporarily and some level of compensation will continue for all jobs.

14.2%

Compensation is halted for all jobs

7.6%

 

Handling of workforce : Remote work is not an option

Over one-third (34.5%) of participating organizations selected the “other” option.  The main reason the “other” option had the most responses is due to the fact that many participating organizations are classified as providing an essential service to our community and, the secondary reason is due to the fluidity of the situation where many organizations are still having discussions.

Workforce Handling – where remote work is not an option

Percent Representation

Other

34.6%

Certain office (stores) / business locations will remain open

30.0%

Office (stores) / business will close temporarily and compensation will continue for all jobs

14.8%

Compensation will be halted for all jobs

9.4%

Office (stores) / business will close temporarily and compensation will continue for certain jobs

9.0%

Compensation and healthcare benefits will be halted for all jobs

2.2%


Temporary Closures

During this very challenging time, it’s refreshing to find that over half (54.3%) of participating employers have not temporarily closed for business.  However, there are several businesses (13.0%) that have, with others monitoring the situation (21.1%).

Has your office (store) / business temporarily closed?

Percent Representation

No

54.3%

Not yet, but monitoring the situation

21.1%

Yes

13.0%

Other

10.7%

No, will be closing within the next week

0.9%


For the several businesses (13.0%) which have closed, the anticipated closure timeframes were:

  • 2 weeks with ongoing monitoring of the situation
  • As long as the state restrictions are in place

COVID-19 Experiences

Amongst the 223 participating employers, nearly half (48.9%) of these employers have employees who are in self-quarantine and nearly half (47.1%) that don’t, with a small number of employers (4.0%) who are unsure.

For the timeframe of this survey, majority (92%) of participating employers did not have any employees diagnosed with having COVID-19.  A few (6%) are unsure, and 2% of employers reported having employees diagnosed with COVID-19.

For the 2% of employers with employees having been diagnosed with COVID-19;

  • two employers have tested only those employees who have come in contact with the affected employee(s),
  • two employers have not had any employees tested and,
  • one employer is unsure if other employees have been tested

Hawaii employers (regardless of size or geographic island location) have taken on the key role of information sharing and keeping employees informed with reliable resources from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of State. 

With the recent directives at the state level, from Governor Ige and the various Mayors, local employers have been working diligently adhering to those directives – all the while, keeping the health and safety for their employees and their families a top priority.

Additionally, employers continue to be nimble and flexible, allowing for quick change to policies and plans as the need arises, with new updates being shared at a rapid pace.

 

HEC conducts a variety of compensation and benefits surveys to provide data useful in developing and administering compensation and benefit plans, and personnel policies.  Custom snapshots and comparison reports from our compensation surveys are available, along with customized, proprietary surveys conducted on your behalf.  Our Survey & Compensation experts can also work with members on employee opinion surveys to identify gaps between being an employer of choice and being merely an employer.  For more information, please contact Cathy Keaulani, Survey & Compensation Services Manager (ckeaulani@hecouncil.org), or Susan Amuro, Survey & Research Analyst (samuro@hecouncil.org).

Feature of the Month:

Guide to Returning to the Workplace: Organizational Effectiveness (Phase 2)

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