Since reopening the economy is imminent sooner than later, offices and organizations are preparing their spaces and their teams to go back to work. Here is a compilation of steps to follow and a checklist to return to the workplace.
Postings and Policies
● Post the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) poster in a visible place. Where employees will remain working from home, send by email, or post to Company intraweb or employee website.
● Review and revise hiring practices and policies: Have staffing needs changed?
– Do you need to change benefits or pay to become more competitive?
– Use remote interviewing techniques as much as possible.
– Update onboarding practices.
– If you are recalling only some workers that were laid-off or furloughed, ensure your practices
for determining who to recall do not discriminate against any group of employees.
● Review and revise leave policies:
– Know how the FFCRA affects your previous policies and practices.
– Consider implementing PTO/vacation rollovers, grace periods, and revise guidelines for
usage if vacation is forfeited if not used by year end.
– Consider implementing or revising bereavement leave policies.
– Ensure that all employees have access to and an understanding of all leave policies that
may apply to them.
● Review and revise work from home and child care policies.
● Update work travel policies in light of any new orders in your state and any new practices being
implemented in the workplace to keep employees/customers safe.
● Review rehire/reinstate provisions for your benefit policies (eligibility/waiting periods).
● Distribute all new or revised policies to all employees.
Health and Safety
● Explain company policies and procedures related to illness, cleaning and disinfecting,
and work meetings and travel.
● Educate employees on how to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at home and at work (follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations).
● If an employee becomes sick at work, send them home.
● Promote safe social distancing in the workplace by encouraging employees to:
– Remain at least 6 feet away from each other.
– Email, message, call, or video call rather than meeting face to face.
– Clean computer equipment, desktops, phones, and workstations often.
– Provide hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, and face masks or face coverings
(where appropriate/necessary) and no-touch disposal receptacles.
● Discourage handshaking.
● Place posters throughout the business to encourage social distancing and hand hygiene.
● Be aware of any local public health or other orders related to COVID-19 that may affect
● Ensure your workplace cleaning company is up to date on current methods of safely
● Communicate frequently and as transparently as possible with employees:
-Provide expected timelines for recalling/rehiring employees.
-Provide returning employees with recall or offer letters.
● Train managers on dealing with employees that may face increased personal challenges during this time, such as bereavement and loss, childcare and school-cancellation challenges, financial stress, and other dependent care and support needs.
● Offer flexibility wherever possible and adjust workloads to be reasonable.
● Be prepared to quickly investigate and stop discriminatory speech or acts in the workplace.
● Consider contracting with an employee assistance program (EAP) if you do not currently have one.
● Designate a workplace coordinator who will be responsible for COVID-19 issues and their
● Develop a plan to operate if absenteeism spikes or if another shelter-in-place or stay at home
-Implement a plan to continue essential business functions.
-Implement flexible work schedules and leave policies.
-Cross-train employees on performing essential business functions.
● Develop emergency communications plans, including a way to answer workers’ concerns.
● Communicate your appreciation and welcome employees back to work.
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