The COVID-19 pandemic has brought uncertain times to us all. Employers play a delicate role in supporting employee health, while ensuring the health of their businesses to keep everyone afloat.
Today’s climate can be daunting, but preparation and proactiveness can at least ensure we’re prepared to tackle what might come next. And the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has some guidelines to keep your employees safe you should follow.
Supporting your team’s health is possible whether your team is fully remote, working on site, or a mix of both. You can start by contacting your local officials to see what steps your city and state are taking to support businesses, as well as to understand the state and local regulations that relate to sick employees to ensure you’re following the guidelines.
Talk with employees about planned changes, spread hope, and seek their input. Actively advice sick employees and those who have symptoms to notify their supervisor and stay home. Do not allow symptomatic people to physically return to work until cleared by a medical provider.
Educate everyone in your workplace about steps that they can take to protect themselves at work and at home, particularly as it relates to cleaning, disinfecting, observing social distancing, and using face coverings while in public and particularly when using mass transit.
As per the White House Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, close common areas where personnel are likely to congregate and interact, or enforce strict social distancing protocols.
If resuming business operations after closing shop due to the pandemic, continue to adhere to up-to-date state and local guidance for opening up again, as well as complementary CDC guidance. For example, if you have employees who commute to work using public transportation, consider allowing them to shift their hours so they can commute during less busy times.
Create a robust sick policy that adheres to local and federal laws. It ensures that you have a plan in place and educates employees about what they should do if they suspect they are sick.
Encourage healthy habits by having reminders to frequently wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, as well as disinfecting frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible. Having cleaning equipment available is also helpful for on-site employees.
Moreover, allow flexible breaks within reason and make online health and wellness classes available as other ways to support your remote team. Emphasize the importance of taking time off when sick or overwhelmed as it can help everyone.
More Tips to Support Sick Employees - Infographic
JW Surety Bonds put together a handy infographic with a list of other important tips for employers to encourage a healthy workplace for their team. Take a look at their tips below to get more ideas on how you can support your team.
Remember, businesses and employers have a role to play in helping prevent and stop the spread of COVID-19. By responding in a way that takes into account the level of disease transmission and revising their business response plans as needed, employers can support employees to battle the disease, stay safe within the workplace, and stop the spread of the virus.