COVID-19: Employer Considerations – Returning to Work and Adapting to the “New Norm”

Important HR Strategies to Consider Post COVID-19

Returning to Work and Adapting to the “New Norm”

Our HR Solutions team have reviewed and addressed some of the concerns employers have in relation to Return to Work strategies following government restrictions being lifted for different sectors and industries in the coming weeks. Employers now need to consider how the transition can be best carried out.

Employers will need to decide how to facilitate a safe return to the workplace, looking at when the return will take place (gradual re-opening), how it will happen (e.g. team splits, staggered working times, social distancing, protective gear), who will return (e.g. employee and visitor screening, dealing with employees’ refusal to return to the workplace) and on what terms (e.g. pay reductions, business travel and annual leave policies, extended probation periods.)

RBK HR Solutions can advise and guide you through a safe Return to Work Plan and anticipate how to deal with employees concerns regarding their return whilst all the time keeping employment law obligations towards employees at the forefront.

The implications for Employee Relations and Employee Engagement also needs to be considered.

Return to Work Strategy

As the Government restrictions are indicated to loosen for different sectors and industries in the coming weeks, it is important to have a safe Return to Work Strategy in place. Many people may be reluctant to return for many different reasons such as childcare, anxiety and fear, change in employment terms and conditions etc. Many companies will also have to deal with employees being reluctant to return simply because they now prefer staying at home, less travel etc. which may lead to disciplinary action.

Considerations for a Safe Return to Work

Employers need to start thinking about their “Recall” Strategy for employees who have been working remotely, temporarily laid-off or on short-time working.

Companies will need to develop new work practices and structures to ensure a safe working environment while adhering to the HSE and Occupational Health & Safety guidelines to ease employee’s minds in returning to work: Continue…

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