As workplaces reopen, employers will need to devise plans that follow strong principles, according to Lydia Campbell, vice president and chief medical officer at IBM Corporate Health and Safety. Such plans must also preserve flexibility, allowing employers to pivot when necessary.
But what are those principles? And how can employers enact a strong plan that protects flexibility, too? HR Dive spoke to Campbell and several other sources who recommended factors employers ought to consider as they draft return-to-work plans.
Federal, state and local guidance
Employers are likely seeing guidance come from multiple sources. As they sort through recommendations, they must remember to heed requirements and recommendations from federal, state and local entities, Denise Macik, client advocate at G&A, a HR outsourcing firm, said.
HR professionals need to understand that guidelines come from federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but they’re also distributed from state and local agencies, as well. “You have to drill down based on the industry, the state, and then go back into the federal types of guidelines,” she said.
Not everyone needs to return to the office at the same time, Macik said. Employers will need to assess their workforces and determine “who is important and vital to get back into the workplace.”
Once the first wave of returnees has been established, employers can move onto the next phase and decide which of the less-essential workers should next return and how.
If employers are returning workers whom they’ve furloughed or laid off, they’ll need to proceed carefully. “Do a documented return-to-work job offer, even if they were furloughed temporarily,” Macik said.
Such agreements should include details about the job workers are returning to as well as their pay, even if it’s widely assumed they’re returning to the same position. “This is proof that you extended the offer, and that they expected to come back,” she said.
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Original article by: HR Dive