Why Taking Action Matters
The Need Is Greater Than Ever
Since March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit ALICE workers and their families especially hard. Most ALICE workers are on the front lines – they are the essential workers who were celebrated as “heroes” early on in the pandemic. Unfortunately, this acknowledgment of ALICE workers’ contributions and sacrifices hasn’t necessarily led to improvements in their circumstances.
Here are just some of the impacts of the pandemic on ALICE workers:
- Essential workers, especially in health care, have continued to have to work, often without adequate PPE – endangering themselves, their coworkers, and their respective households
Non-essential workers have suffered reduced employment in the face of the economic shutdowns due to
- Business closings
- Cutting back of work hours
- The inability to work from home caused by lack of access to technology
- Hazard pay raises are either too small to make a difference, or are no longer given
- Unemployment numbers are particularly high among households headed by Blacks, Hispanics, and women, exposing long-existing inequities that are now only growing worse.
Business Leaders Can Make A Big Difference
Employers and human resource managers are in a unique position to support ALICE through this unprecedented time, by creating conditions at work that benefit ALICE. Doing so is an important expression of a company’s values, and can lead to positive outcomes for ALICE, as well as greater positivity and productivity in the workplace overall.
Employers who take action for ALICE are committed to:
- Promoting equity in their workplace and in their community
- Making life better for their ALICE employees and their families
- Helping their own businesses retain valued workers
- Improving morale at work/creating a happier work environment for all
Supporting ALICE Is Good For Business
Businesses also benefit from improving workplace conditions for ALICE. Through policies and practices that help improve life for ALICE workers and their families, businesses can:
- Put their values into practice as they improve life in the community
- Attract higher quality employees
- Retain employees for the long haul
- Increase productivity and engagement
- Achieve fewer absences and last-minute callouts
- Save on training costs and downtime
- Create a happier work environment
Taking action for ALICE can involve small or larger efforts. What is important is to take the first step. Even small changes can have a big impact. Explore the case studies to get some ideas.