New Jersey Business & Industry Association President and CEO Michele Siekerka issued the following statement regarding Gov. Phil Murphy’s updated masking and on-site workplace rules and the lifting of certain restrictions for childcare facilities, announced this afternoon.
“These are positives steps in the right direction announced by Governor Murphy today, bringing much needed clarity for businesses as our economy fully reopens.
“Providing employers the flexibility to allow vaccinated employees to forego masking and distancing in business and office settings is appropriate, as was recognized by CDC. Treating them any different than public facing businesses only caused confusion, especially when employers in closed office-like settings can have better control of their work environment, as evidenced through their safety protocols over the better part of the past year.
“We also welcome the rescinding of the requirement to accommodate remote working arrangements and the elimination of keeping on-site staff to the minimum number of employees. As businesses return to the physical workplace, it’s critical they have the flexibility to best support their operations at their worksite.
“As it relates to New Jersey’s workforce challenges, we indeed welcome the elimination of capacity limits and group sizes at childcare centers. In addition to improving the fiscal challenges faced by our childcare facilities, the lifting of these restrictions will ultimately allow more parents to return to work, as their children return to childcare.
“With these and further steps, such as a “Return to Work Campaign” that provides tax credits to small businesses and enhancements to workers who come off of unemployment to return to work now, we can better jumpstart our economic recovery.”