In China, Covid-19 cases are reported slowing down that businesses are resuming, reported by Xinhua News. In the city of Ningbo, for example, Shenzhou International Group Holdings Limited has seen its work resumption rate reached 95 percent, meaning that Chinese employees have restored their normal work life. Albeit some businesses have had their normal schedule, companies should still follow guidelines provided by the government in order to prevent the re-infection of Covid-19. Employers should also create new regulations in response to unexpected changes.
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Here are CDC recommendations for HR managers in this Covid-19 crisis. Kindly note that these recommendations are general advice provided by CDC for employers to help fight the spreading of Covid-19 in the workplace, thus, it might not cover all employer’s obligations under the Ministry of Manpower and/or Employment Law Protection Act.
- HR managers should actively encourage employees with respiratory illness and fever to stay home until they are free of a fever for at least 24 hours. You might ask your employees to notify their supervisor daily.
- HR managers should ensure that company’s sick leave policies are modified to be flexible enough that they are consistent with any public health guidance and employees are aware of these modified policies.
- HR managers should talk with companies that provide your business with a contract or temporary employees about the importance of their sick employees staying home.
- HR managers should encourage employees to develop non-punitive leave policies consistent with the Employment Guideline provided by the Ministry of Manpower.
- HR managers might want to consider using absences of notes of those who have a record of excessive absences. Health care providers would be busy in times like this, therefore, providing health care notes from doctors to validate their illness might disrupt health care providers’ job role in combating the virus.
- HR managers should make sure that there are flexible policies permitting employees to stay home to care for a sick family member.
- HR managers and employers should prepare to separate sick employees.
- There should be poster or banners available in the workplace encouraging people to stay home when sick, explaining the proper etiquette for coughing and sneezing, explaining hand hygiene when entering the workplace or other working areas, explaining how to wash hands, how to use anti-bacterial gels, and how to use soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- There should be tissues, no-touch disposal, alcohol-based hand sanitizers with 60-95 percent alcohol receptacles for use by employees.
- HR should encourage routine environmental cleaning of all frequently touched surfaces such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs.
- There should be disposable wipes for employees to wipe down everything before each use.
- For employees who are travelling, please refer to CDC Travel for each country’s guidelines.
- HR managers should ensure employees, who become sick while travelling or on temporary assignment, to notify their supervisor and promptly call a health care provider for advice if needed.
- HR managers should encourage employees who are well but have a sick family member at home to follow self-risk management for their potential exposure.
- If one of your employees is confirmed to have Covid-19, HR and employers should inform their coworkers of their possible exposure and maintain the confidentiality of the sick employees. And employees exposed to a coworker with a confirmed case should refer to conduct self-risk management.
- HR managers should consider the best practice to decrease the spread of acute respiratory illness by practising social distancing and working from home, maintaining minimum business operations, protecting people who are at higher risk for adverse health complications, and minimising adverse effects on other entities in supply chains.
- If your company has more than one business location, provide local managers with the authority to take appropriate actions based on the condition of their locality and coordinate with state and local health officials.
- For employees who still need to work at office and travel due to urgent conditions, HR managers should encourage them to practice six-foot rule to lessen the risk. Outfitting and supplying your employees with protection such as a mask for travel and gloves are also appreciated.
- HR managers should encourage social distancing at work as well as in public.
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