On May 20, the Bureau of Labor Statistics received emergency OMB clearance through November 30, 2020 for a new Survey on the Effects of COVID-19 on Establishment Sick Leave Policies, as part of the National Compensation Survey (NCS).
The benefit information to be collected is:
• Whether a company has made changes to its paid and unpaid sick leave plans due to COVID-19
• Whether the change is permanent or temporary
• Range of days added to paid and unpaid sick leave plans
• Range of time used by employees (plan usage) for paid and unpaid sick leave
This request is for 180-day approval of an emergency Information Collection Request for changes to private industry sick leave policies in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. BLS has an urgent necessity to collect this information from the American public to assess the damage to the U.S. economy resulting from this pandemic.
This is a one-time data request which will be collected during the regular quarterly collection timeframe of June 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020. (N = 8293) The NCS already collects data on company sick leave policies. The emergency data collection request uses these responses to identify companies where sick leave policies already exist, reducing the number of respondents contacted and eliminating an initial screening question.
Estimation Procedure for COVID Related Sick Leave: COVID Related Sick Leave data is categorical. National level estimates of the percentages of establishments that fall into a given category will be calculated at the establishment level. Other estimates, such as the percentage of establishments providing a specific change, will be computed using a base of only those establishments that made changes to their sick leave plans. Calculation of establishment weights and percentages will follow standard NCS practices.
Survey instrument: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/DownloadDocument?objectID=100991400
Supporting statement (purpose, plans, methods): https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewDocument?ref_nbr=202005-1220-001
BLS has received data requests from various sources seeking additional details to existing published estimates. These data are desired by researchers for establishing public policy as well as employers for evaluation and formation of company benefit plans. The following agencies have contacted BLS seeking this information that is not available from other public or private sources:
• Congress – The original text of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act indicates that BLS should produce as much data as possible on employer provided sick leave.
• Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) – Since the start of the current COVID-19 situation, BLS has received multiple requests from CEA seeking the most recent data available on access to employer-provided sick leave. Due to the timing of BLS benefit data collection, data is possibly already dated. This additional collection will allow BLS to determine by how much sick leave benefit access may have changed.
• Census – The current Census “Pulse” survey provides a household perspective on COVID-19 and contains one question that provides limited information on whether the individual is able to take leave through their employer. This question was requested by BLS. The NCS data collection will complement this information.