response to COVID-19

What Steps Should Employers Take in Response to COVID-19?

As the pandemic rapidly spreads across the globe, it’s important to ask what steps should employers take in response to COVID-19? We’ve been seeing some of our clients with a multi-country presence, plan ahead to ensure the health and safety of their employees.

The most important thing is not to panic or create such ambience within the organisation. Since this is a rapidly evolving topic, employers should ensure that all staff seeks information from a single source of truth i.e. credible websites or government institutions.

Here’s a list of sites we have been following since the outbreak:

US https://www.cdc.gov/
AU https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts
UK https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
CA https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/being-prepared.html
Global reported cases and recovery Interactive map
WHO Official website https://www.who.int/southeastasia/outbreaks-and-emergencies/novel-coronavirus-2019

 

Given the proliferation of information on social media around this rapidly evolving topic, combined with the uncertainty about the virus, we wanted to share five guidelines that we’ve curated across our clients that you could consider implementing in your own business. Integral steps employers can take in response to COVID-19.

 

1. Identify a point of contact in each office location or a central team
The individual or team must be responsible for monitoring official daily updates, disseminating this information to all employees, and reinforcing good hygiene practices through posters and email comms.

 

2. Have a flexible business continuity plan.
Questions to address within this plan could:

    • How prepared is your business for employees to work remotely?
    • What does the next 6-month organisation travel calendar look like and can you identify and eliminate all non-essential travel?
    • Emergency action plan in the event of an employee testing positive for the virus.
    • Maintain an adequate supply of hygiene products in each office.
    • Maintaining financial security while always ensuring employee safety.

 

3. Limit non-essential work events that promote large staff gatherings
Businesses should review all upcoming events and consider rescheduling them or arrange for such events to take place virtually.

 

4. Reconsider limiting client or visitor meetings in high-risk locations
Instruct employees to report to the designated representative if they have recently been to a high-risk destination or been in contact with someone who has.

 

5. Promote and maintain workplace hygiene and good hygiene practices among employees
Cough and sneeze etiquette, hand hygiene, staying home when sick, routine cleaning of all frequent traffic and touched surfaces.

The Takeaway

Employers need to implement effective practices in response to COVID-19. For one thing, it wouldn’t be unusual for employers to receive a high number of work-from-home requests.

Furthermore, the key to mitigating risks as an employer is to provide constant communication to staff, stay on top of all updates from credible institutions, have an emergency plan, and take action when needed and most of all stay calm.

However, if you or your employees have a scheduled (essential) travel to the APAC and need insight on travel and security arrangement amidst the current situation in the APAC region, give us a call or email us.