The pandemic of Covid -19 has brought the world to its knees. The majority of us have never quite seen or been a part of a crisis on a scale like this. And its impact… well, we still don’t really know do we how we will be affected in the long run.
Currently, it’s all about managing the situation and keeping our heads above water. That’s all we can do. Whether, its managing our health, mental well-being or finances, we just have to keep going and follow government guidelines.
If you are at the helm of running a business or an organisation and are responsible for your employees, you’ve got more on your plate. Not only do you have to manage your business or organisation, which could have been badly impacted by the lockdown, but you are going to have to step up as an employer and manage your employees too.
Taking a step back, government guidelines state that everyone should stay at home unless it’s absolutely necessary to go out. You can find the detailed guidelines on the NHS website.
With regards to self-isolation specifically, if an individual is displaying symptoms of Covid-19, they must self-isolate for 7 days or as long as the symptoms persist. If a member of a household is displaying symptoms of Covid-19, the entire household must self-isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms.
So, what does this mean for employers?
For all employers, whether you have one employee or five hundred employees, your number one priority MUST be the health and well-being of your employees.
Assuming your organisation or business hasn’t had to shut its doors due to lockdown (restaurants, pubs), your employees will still have work. As an organisation or business leader, you will have to manage your employees as well as the running of your organisation or business when some of them may have to self-isolate?
We thought we’d first share a few thoughts on managing your employees during this difficult time.
- Communication – Make sure all your employees know that your organisation’s first priority is their health and make all policies and procedures clear so that they know what is expected of them. Communication must be current, clear, consistent and regular so that if there is any change in guidelines and/or policies, your employees are in the know.
- Reassurance – This is a time of high anxiety for everyone. Your employees may be worried about their health, their jobs, their families. As an organisation, reassure your employees that their health comes first and that with the help of government schemes, they will be able to keep their jobs and receive sick pay should they need to self-isolate.
- Mental health – The impact of covid-19 on the mental health of your employees is an area that must be considered. If feasible, it might be a good idea for your organisation or business to appoint a counsellor or counselling service that employees can access as and when they need it.
- Be available to and for your employees during this difficult time.
- If you run a large organisation or business appoint a Covid-19 Liaison Officer to be the “go to” person for all covid-19 related queries that your employees may have.
- Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is due to all employees from day 1 of self-isolation, even if your employee is self-isolating due to a member of their household displaying covid-19 symptoms.
- Be flexible. Allow employees to take the time as holiday if they wish.
- Alternatively, you could offer employees who are self-isolating but able to work the option to work from home (depending on the nature of their job) and continue to pay them as normal.
- Organisations and businesses must decide on what policy they will adopt in terms of informing employees if there has been a positive case of covid within the organisation or indeed if an employee is self-isolating due to covid-19 symptoms. Chances are that this information will come to light in any case so whilst, there is no legal obligation to do so, it might be prudent to be upfront and honest with employees. If the employee or employees want to keep their identity private, employers must respect their right to privacy.
This is a difficult time for individuals and organisations alike and everyone needs all the help they can get.
If you are a large organisation with over 250 employees, you will need a system that tracks which employees are self-isolating, for how long and when they expect to be back. Our unique isolation checker does just that. Find out how it can help your organisation or business manage workflow and track and monitor the health and availability of employees. To understand if the Isolation Checker is for you, why not book a demo?