Having to quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19, while vital to controlling the spread, can be a financial hardship for employees and businesses because it means they’re out of work. To help lighten that burden, the Utah Labor Commission announced Thursday the launch of the Small Business Quarantined Employee Grant program.
This grant program will help small businesses (Less than 50 employees) continue to pay employees who are required to quarantine or isolate due to a positive COVID-19 test or exposure to someone who has tested positive.
The $2 million Small Business Quarantined Employee Grant uses federal CARES Act funds as part of Utah’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. It provides reimbursement to small business employers who pay employees to stay home during quarantine or isolation for a maximum of 40 hours per week for a period of up to two calendar weeks.
Having employees stay home when they’re sick is one of the most important and easiest ways to protect a business and slow the spread of COVID-19. Many employees are nervous to take time off if they are sick for fear of losing their job or income while they get better. Employees may also hesitate to tell their employer if someone in their home has tested positive for COVID-19 or if they have come in close contact with someone who has tested positive as they don’t want to be out of work.
This grant will help make the choice to stay home easier by allowing qualified employers to continue to pay quarantined or isolated employees and then be reimbursed through the grant.
To be eligible for the grant, businesses must have:
- Less than 50 employees in Utah.
- One or more employees receiving notice that the employee must quarantine or isolate due to positive COVID-19 test or exposure to someone who has tested positive.
- Continued to pay out regular wages to an employee(s) while the employee was in quarantine/isolation.
Small business owners with less than 50 employees can go to https://coronavirus.utah.gov/business/business-loans-and-grants/,