Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a major affect on businesses everywhere. Some have had to close their doors without the guarantee that they will be able to re-open after this pandemic has passed. One thing is for sure, businesses must quickly adapt to the changes that this pandemic has caused. Fortunately, Resourcing Edge is here to help with 4 guidelines for maintaining business operations during this global crisis.
- Assess your essential functions and how heavily your community relies on your company’s products or services. Government officials have offered a list of what businesses have been deemed “essential” in your state or county, so always refer to state official lists when in doubt.
- Be prepared to change your normal daily duties to maintain these critical functions. For example, you may have to prioritize certain products or services over others. You may even need to temporarily suspend some of your non-essential duties to ensure the completion of your essential functions.
- Implement flexible sick leave and supportive policies and practices. While retaining compliance in the workplace, ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and remain within the guidelines or public health standards and communicate these policies to your employees to reduce confusion during this time.
- Ensure that you have sick leave policies that are flexible and permit your employees to stay home and care for themselves or a family member who has contracted the illness. In this specific pandemic, school closures have occurred; therefore, additional flexibilities may be required for employees to provide childcare for their families.
- Employers that do not have sick leave for all their employee may have to draft emergency sick leave policies that will keep them compliant with legal employment guidelines.
- Remember, you should not be requiring an employee to provide you a positive COVID-19 test result to validate their need for sick leave or a negative test result to return to work at this time. Review your Human Resource policies to ensure that your business is consistent with public health recommendations and current state and federal workplace laws. If you are not, amendments must be made immediately.
- Determine how your business will function during spike in absenteeism. Be prepared for an increase in call outs/no call no shows due to employees falling ill or having to take care of ill family members. Additionally, employees may miss work due to the closure of their childcare or school programs for their children.
- plan for these spikes and implement your plans for prioritizing your essential business functions as you experience these absenteeism spikes. Prepare to cross-train your employees who remain healthy and at work to pick up the dropped essential functions posed by the missing employees.
- Social distancing should be implemented as recommended by your state and local health authorities. Social distancing means avoiding large gatherings and maintaining distance of 6 feet from one another. Strategies that businesses can implement are flexible worksites or telecommuting. Employers can increase the space between employees in the workplace or allow employees to avoid coming into the office completely and work from home if their job duties allow them to do so. Downsize outside contact if possible, including deliveries or outside visitors to your business. Essentially, employers need to reduce (if complete elimination is not possible) on any non-essential physical contact within the workplace.
It is essential to put the health of your employees first during this global crisis; however, it is understandable that you must prioritize the longevity of your business as well. Keep in mind, you must remain compliant with state and federal regulations. These tips merely demonstrate the surface level guidelines employers must follow during this pandemic. To ensure you are compliant within your business, please contact any of your Outsourced HR experts at Resourcing Edge: https://resourcingedge.com/contact-us/
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