Corona Virus – 10 tips for employers to stay ahead of the crisis
Employers have a statutory duty of care for people’s health and safety at work.
Jill Jones of Crowther People Solutions has assembled 10 tips all employers should consider in order to stay ahead of the corona virus:
1. Consider limiting unnecessary meetings, banning hand shaking and restricting movement around the workplace.
As the virus is believed to spread through respiratory droplets between people in close proximity (six feet or less) and through touching infected surfaces and then touching one’s own mouth or nose, you may want to consider limiting unnecessary meetings, banning hand shaking and restricting movement around the workplace.
2. Provide soap and hand sanitiser gels.
Reduce the spread of infection by providing soap and hand sanitiser gels, especially in communal areas like kitchens and coffee areas. Provide staff with hand sanitisers. Think about frequent wiping down of communal spaces such as kitchens, handrails on stairs, lift buttons, door handles, etc.
3. Advise all employees to avoid affected areas or individuals.
Communicate to employees that they need to take precautions, avoiding travel to affected areas or coming into contact with potentially infected individuals.
4. Supply employees with necessary contact details if they think they have contracted the COVID -19.
Advise employees on what to do if they think they have contracted the COVID -19 virus (in line with official guidance). Make sure your communication includes contact details for a central person who can collate the information and keep it confidential.
5. Check the NHS and Government websites for regions/nations affected.
Ensure employees who have returned from a number of areas follow NHS advice and self-isolate for at least 14 days indoors and advise the emergency services (111). Check the NHS and Government websites for regions/nations affected (namely China, Iran, North and South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, HK, Thailand and Northern Italy at time of writing).
6. Evaluate risk and consider alternative methods of doing business.
Review any proposed business travel plans and discuss any employee’s concerns about travelling in general and attending events if they are worried about their health – evaluate risk and consider alternative methods of doing business.
7. Ensure employees who are self-isolating due to potential exposure are able to do any work from home.
Consider whether employees who are not actually sick but self-isolating due to a potential exposure are able to do any work from home. Consider more widespread use of lap tops and conference calling facilities.
8. Compensate employees from any corona virus related absence where necessary.
Make all employees aware of how you will compensate them for any category of Corona Virus related absence so they are not tempted to come into work and risk the health of their colleagues to avoid financial hardship. Your usual Sickness Absence Policy applies – however Statutory Sick Pay applies from day 1 of absence and the rules upon accessing a medical fit note after 7 days of absence should be relaxed.
9. Have the same rules for all staff and don’t categorise them.
Insist that sick employees who are displaying symptoms are to stay at home, have the same rules for all staff and do not target categories such as older workers, pregnant employees or those of a certain national origin.
10. Reassure your employees by communicating as the situation unfolds.
Keep communicating with your employees as the situation unfolds and give them the reassurance that you are aware of their concerns, you have a plan and you will respond to the crisis in a manner which prioritises their health whilst protecting the business.
For any further advice regarding any HR issues, please contact:
Crowther People Solutions Website
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