If you have not already done so it is time to create a contingency plan for your operation. If you have questions–call me for a free consult.
This is not a run for the toilet paper and hand sanitizer; the sky is falling poist, but rather a let’s plan for a potentially rainy day. IF the Coronavirus does spread to our region—do you have a plan?
Here are a few questions to consider:
- Do you presently have a Sick Time policy? Will it cover this particular virus?
Most Sick Time policies do not cover a potential 14 day quarantine period.
- Are you able to have any of your employees work from home?
If yes, test it out. Make sure the functions work as intended before you rely on it.
- Are there vital roles that will need to be at the workplace and need to be in contact with other staff or clients?
Most Sales Managers head to the field or offices of clients. Is there a different way to do this over the next few months? Many companies have already sent emails to clients telling them what their company is doing for staff and clients during this time. Have you reached out to clients to see what they want?
- Will you pay for additional sick time if an employee is quarantined? Or for parents who have a sick child and need to stay home?
The Federal Government is lifting the 1-week waiting period for benefits for those quarantined or on self-isolation but this may not help all employees AND it is a very reduced rate of pay. Decide if your company is going to pay out sick benefits during this time—and is there a limit?
- Is there a way to reconfigure the workspace for extended space around workers?
Cubicles are great ways to pack in more people to less space and a great way to spread disease. Consider the answer to question 6 and find a way to spread the distance between employees. Sneeze and cough space.
- Can you consider adding an evening or night shift to help lower the number of people at work at one time?
Paperwork needs to come in from the field and get sorted and moved through the lines. Maybe offer different shifts to employees to allow for greater space at work and to keep things running. If schools close, this may also provide some parents with an option to still do work from the office in the evening.
- Are you providing the basics that your staff need to try and prevent catching the flu?
Consider having your cleaning company come in more often. Ensure soap dispensers are full. Have hand sanitizer in each company vehicle and on each desk. Put up posters on proper hand-washing techniques.
- Should staff involved in any training or conferences in the next 30 – 45 days cancel?
Some training may have already been cancelled but if it hasn’t are you taking a risk with their attendance. Can it be postponed. Are there online options? Is everyone comfortable using Zoom or Skype, do they know how to use the technology?
- Have you had a staff meeting or sent out a Memo to all staff, letting them know what the company plans to do?
Even letting them know that you are working on a plan is a good start. Ask staff to send in questions they want answered—and then answer them. Only use reputable sites for information—DO NOT RELY ON FACEBOOK and SOCIAL MEDIA. Head to government websites and Alberta Health Services or other trusted sites for information. Gather a couple of your top employees in each area to discuss how you will handle this. Make sure staff know the company view on sick symptoms and attendance. You may lose a contract if your staff show up for work sick on another work site.
Do you need some guidance?
Human Resources and Safety Staff who have been through this before can be invaluable sources of knowledge. Call them or Contact Caseley Consulting.
The following websites can provide you with truthful information on the virus and help you make decisions for your company. If you need help creating a plan for your employees and you would like some help, please feel free to contact me. I can guide you through your legal responsibilities as an employer and help build a plan for the least amount of disruption to your business.