HR Summertime Checklist – COVID Edition

Each year, DDM reminds HR departments to evaluate your summertime employment needs and prepare for things like PTO requests, summer hours, and dress codes. But 2020 is proving to be a little different!

As more and more employers are opening up to return to work, we invite HR professionals and employers to consider these items for your 2020 HR Summertime Checklist.

Keep Employees Healthy

* Actively encourage sick employees to stay home, either taking paid
time off or working from home.
* Promote and facilitate working from home whenever possible.
* Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with
public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
* Place posters at the entrance to your workplace that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene.
* Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
* Instruct employees to wash their hands often with soap and warm
water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer should be used whenever
normal hand-washing isn’t an option.
* Provide soap and water, and alcohol-based hand rubs in the
workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand
rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand
hygiene.
* Encourage employees to keep a 6-foot distance between each other.
* Encourage all meetings to be held virtually.
* Consider canceling business-related events that involve gatherings of 50 people or more.
* Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such
as workstations, countertops and doorknobs. Use standard cleaning agents and follow the directions on the label.
* Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, and desks) can be wiped down by
employees before each use.
* Advise employees to reconsider any nonessential travel plans.
* Consider canceling any business-related travel plans. 

Keep Employees Informed

* Create an action plan for communicating important business updates
to employees.
* Deliver regular company updates with information about what your
company is doing to keep employees safe and healthy.
* Ensure that your IT infrastructure is equipped to handle more employees working from home and increased frequency of communications.
* Provide communications in as many formats as possible to ensure that your message is accessible.

Keep Employees Protected

* Review leave policies and consider revising them to add flexibility for COVID-19-related leave.
* Review policies to ensure that employees could still be paid in the
event of company closure.
* Expand or enhance telecommuting policies to help keep employees away from the office.
* Expand or enhance IT and cyber security policies to prepare for
employees working from home.
* Review business continuity practices to prepare for a potential business closure.

Of course, the above is not an all-inclusive list and each organization is unique. Continue to speak with your team, your legal counsel and of course your insurance and risk management professionals as we navigate this new normal together.