1st June 2020
The current public health emergency has had a significant effect on businesses. Many have been forced to shut down operations, or have seen a significant dip in business for a while. However, with the ongoing easing of measures, we hope to see the revival of the many businesses which have suffered during this time. However, whilst business may be back, we certainly cannot say that it’s business as usual. Is your business prepared to meet the onslaught of potential issues which may arise under your new rules? Are you ready to adapt to this ‘new normal’?
Make sure you’ve established your back-to-work procedures for both employees and visitors (hygiene, social distancing, infection containment etc.) Having all this etched out in writing and available to all employees and visitors will provide you with added protection against any claims which may arise on alleged mishandling of the new realities which we all must face for the time being.
The team at Advisory 21 can help you develop your very own COVID-19: Back to Work Policy, which aims to set down in writing all the steps and procedures which you intend to take to abide by the authorities’ guidance. Our Policy will guide you towards recommended best practices in hygiene and infection control. It takes into consideration various data privacy measures which you must necessarily consider when collecting data in ways which you hadn’t envisaged before. We will also help you formulate the way Quarantine Leave and Sick Leave are to be availed of in this time of national crisis, whilst affording you all protection possible.
The Policy encompasses all procedures which you have or are about to set out, and covers various different topics which would apply to businesses in general but which we together with you may then amend or supplement to apply more directly to your own one, depending on your location, premises size/layout, footfalls, policies already in place etc.
It involves a significant amount of information on the virus itself, its spread, and expected sanitary standards. The latter would be set out in black and white for your employees so there wouldn’t be excuses that they weren’t aware of certain sanitary practices which you require. It then also goes into the practical side – what is expected vis-a-vis social distancing, what protocols you will be putting in place (there are template sections for segregated entry, cleaning routines, temperature recording, spatial layout systems, lunch break procedures, etc).
The policy also provides template procedures (which you may amend and adapt to your own systems with our assistance) for what happens with visitors, face to face meetings, instances where an employee or visitor tests positive etc. It regulates procedures which aren’t usually regulated or written down but which now require more stringent safety measures in the interest of the safeguarding of everyone’s health. It caters for the processing of visitors’ contact details which you might have not processed before or you processed but for a different purpose. It also provides template sections on requirements for wearing Personal Protective Equipment, which you can once again adapt according to your situation.
It also refers to enhanced data privacy notices. Due to the situation you may be processing new special category (sensitive) personal data which your current privacy notices do not cater for (these can be the notices, for your employees, clients, visitors and job candidates among others). Therefore, these notices throughout the policy will be addressing your obligations under privacy legislation mainly in respect of, but not limited to. transparency, data retention, purpose for processing and the legal basis for processing.
Lastly, there are also sections where you may add further information on sick leave, amendments to any other policies and also links to/information about any legal notices or orders which pertain to your specific business or industry as published in light of the pandemic. The policy may also be amended by us to cater for future looking procedures you might consider adapting such as whether you intend asking employees to carry out anti-body screening, work and leisure related travel once the airport opens and other issues.
Get in touch with us today to find out more by sending us an email for more information.