Helping Frontline Heroes Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Despite the tragic loss of millions of U.S. jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a number of key industries that are powering today’s economy, providing access to essential services in ways no one ever dreamed possible. While some industries, such as restaurants, entertainment, and travel and leisure have been shuttered for the foreseeable future, others, such as grocery stores, hospitals and health care, and cleaning/facilities services have increased their hiring efforts due to an unprecedented need for additional frontline workers.  

There is even growth in industries that we never could have envisioned. For example, there is an increased need for workers in janitorial services to perform nightly deep cleanings in supermarkets and hospitals. There is a boom in the medical waste industry as hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities grapple with the need to safely and securely handle waste from the most contagious virus ever to infect an ever-growing number of people. 

Industries that are hiring frontline workers, those who are keeping our economy going, need to be ever mindful of the health and safety not only of the customers whom they serve, but their workers who are themselves at risk of contracting coronavirus from an infected customer or coworker. We’ve seen many of these customer-facing industries offering bonuses, raising their hourly wage and paying sick leave to workers who test positive for the virus. Some, like Walmart, are taking employees’ temperatures as they arrive at work and sending those who are sick home to quarantine, with paid sick leave for 14 days. 

As this pandemic unfolded, we at DailyPay started to think about what we could do to support these frontline workers in our partner companies, including Kroger, Parker’s Kitchen, Leevers Supermarkets, Dave’s Markets and Loop Neighborhood, and so many others.

In an effort to support financial flexibility during the pandemic, the first thing we did was to eliminate next-day ACH transfer fees for employees of our partner companies to allow them to access their earned income at no cost. At that time, our data reveal that 43% of employees using DailyPay were accessing their pay early for COVID-19-related expenses, a 400% spike in number over three days.

Next, we released the DailyPay Workforce Index that analyzes data based on changes in hourly staff and working hours across four different industries — hospitals, call centers, supermarkets and Quick Service Restaurants (QSR). This index was created to educate and inform media about the disruption caused by COVID-19. The index showed changes that differ greatly by industry, verifying that while some industries are reducing hours or workforce, others are, in fact, staffing up to meet demand. 

Several new partners asked for an accelerated, ahead-of-schedule launch of DailyPay for their employees, and we made a commitment to get them, and any other company that wants to offer DailyPay, up and running as quickly as possible.

The material changes in business and unexpected business needs that we have seen thus far are likely just the beginning. We are proud to be partnered with such forward-thinking companies during this challenging time and can’t wait to move into the next phase of the pandemic and rebuilding the way our world of work re-emerges.

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