Strategies For A Return To Work

What Documents Should Employers Be Reviewing As A Result Of Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is sure to have long term as well as short term effects on the way people work. Very few employers anticipated the impact of a pandemic. The experiences or employers range from dealing with an intensification of activity in some sectors such as food delivery, adaptation to the homeworking model through to a total cessation such as in the hospitality industry.

As the slow return to work-place and the “new normal” takes shape, it is time for employers to ask themselves which policies they will need to adapt. We look below at some of the the employment documents and practices employers and their HR teams should be reviewing.

  • Homeworking Policy
    • Do you have one?
    • Does it deal with health and safety?
    • Does it consider mental health?
    • Have you considered data protection and other security issues?
  • Flexible Working Policy
    • Do you have one?
    • Are you ready for an increased number or requests?
    • Will you be considering more flexibility about times of work as highlighted by home schooling issue?
  • Health and safety
    • Have your risk assessments been revised to deal with coronavirus spread?
    • Can the documents be revised to cover new outbreaks and future pandemics?
    • Have you adapted this to cover issues raised by home-working?
    • Does your policy and practice take mental health into account?
  • Contracts of employment
    • Have you considered “pandemic clauses” allowing for variations to pay, hours, location other flexibility provisions?
  • Sickness/Disability
    • Are the new provisions relating to self-isolating and shielding reflected in your policies?
    • Should company sick pay be brought in line?
    • Does your equal opportunities policy cover the special issues affecting employees with a disability or vulnerable dependants?
  • Disciplinary and Grievance
    • Does it refer to telephone or video meetings and safeguards to ensure fairness?
  • Holiday and time off
    • Does it refer to the right to require employees to take leave at a particular time?
  • Whistleblowing policy
    • Do you have one?
    • Have you trained managers to reduce the risk claims of victimisation for raising issues re coronavirus or other complaints?

We strongly recommend that employers ask themselves questions like the above going into the post crisis world.