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Re-Opening: How to protect your employees


Over 30 states have loosened their shelter-in-place policies. If you’re looking to re-open your business (or already have) below is what the CDC recommends to protect your employees.

Establish a COVID-19 Coordinator

The COVID-19 Coordinator should start with examining the company’s sick leave policy. The policy should be flexible and non-punitive and should encourage employees to stay home if they feel sick (or to care for family members who are sick). Review this policy with your employees.

Next the COVID-19 Coordinator should determine shift schedules to enforce social distancing. Work from home should be done whenever possible.

Essential employees and business functions should be determined as well. Business continuity—if there should ever be a disruption in the supply chain—should be evaluated. Explore how you can continue business operations if further disruptions occur.

Lastly, establish an emergency communications plan and clearly communicate all of the above to your employees, along with whatever expectations you may have.

Below are other tips the CDC recommends to protect your employees.

Protecting the health of your employees

  1. Encourage sick employees to stay home. Your sick leave policy should reflect this encouragement as well.
  2. Ask your employees about their concerns. Some employees may have underlying illnesses.
  3. Develop flexible scheduling. This should also include flexible time-off for sick family members in need of care.
  4. Talk to your suppliers about what they are doing to protect their employees.
  5. Plan to minimize face-to-face contact between employees.
  6. Provide supplies for proper hand hygiene. This includes no-touch trash cans, kleenex, soap, water, paper towels, and hand sanitizer.
  7. Keep travel to a minimum.
  8. Routinely clean high-touch areas. This includes phones, counters, keyboards, work stations, and doorknobs.
  9. Provide education, training, and clearly communicate expectations.
  10. If an employee becomes sick, separate them and send them home immediately.

Next week we’ll cover the frequently asked questions small businesses have when operating during the health crisis, including what to do if an employee is exposed and finding out an employee tested positive several days later. Stay safe and keep hanging on AQR community; we are all in this together.

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