ISSA Supports Return-to-Work Bonus to Help Attract WorkersJune 11, 2020
ISSA strongly supports a proposal by U.S. Senator Rob Portman (OH-R) to boost the country’s economy and incentivize individuals to return to work as the nation begins to reopen safely following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senator Portman’s proposal provides US$450 a week for individuals returning to work, meaning they would receive their wages plus a $450 bonus. At a Senate Finance Committee hearing on June 9 , Senator Portman cited a recent study by the American Action Forum and University of Chicago, which found that “between 60-70% of individuals currently on unemployment are making more than they did in their prior job thanks to [the $600 a week in supplemental federal unemployment benefits].”
The Wall Street Journal reported that Senator Portman’s office settled on the $450 amount by surveying benefits and wages in each state to come up with an average amount by which most people would be better off working than staying at home. According to the Wall Street Journal, “The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, meaning that a minimum-wage worker in states without a higher minimum, or floor, makes roughly $290 a week. The $450 payment each week on top of that base amount was designed with such low-wage workers in mind, in order to leave such employees better off than by taking $600 a week to stay home.”
“ISSA believes it’s critical to have a workforce that’s ready to step into their old jobs or newly available jobs as the economy reopens,” said John Nothdurft, ISSA Director of Government Affairs. “Senator Portman’s provision should be included as part of the next coronavirus response stimulus legislation Congress considers. Cleaning companies and professionals are playing a critical role in maintaining clean and healthy environments for employees and customers. The demand for increased cleaning and disinfection requires more of these critical workers. This proposal would help fill these essential jobs.”
ISSA is working diligently to support the full spectrum of the cleaning industry in the U.S. and worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic, including providing a variety of government affairs resources to support its members during this challenging time. For questions regarding ISSA’s advocacy efforts, including the association’s response to COVID-19, please contact [email protected].