How Employers Should Respond During The Covid-19 Pandemic
Many thanks to Philip Carney and Lisa Kiernan from the HR Company for their time today on our latest webinar. Philip and Lisa shared loads of valuable information on ‘How employers should respond during the Covid-19 pandemic’.
Philip and Lisa spoke about the following topics:
How and when to deal with lay-offs
The redundancy process
How to deal with current investigations and disciplinary issues
Obligations under the GDPR during the crisis
Emergency staff - what to do if they refuse to come to work
Obligations as an Employer if there is an outbreak in the workplace
How to deal with contracts issued to new employees with start dates in the future
Some of the key information from the webinar includes;
- Organisations need to remember that it is business as usual in terms of Human Resources with emergency procedures in place such as the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. It is important to stay in touch as much as possible while employees are working from home.
- Employees receiving the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme can work full time hours.
- In order to keep all employees on payroll is may be necessary to reduce all employees pay by a certain percentage. Avoid reducing a number of individual employees salaries as it would be seen as unfair treatment.
- Redundancy scenarios; New provisions have been put in place where an employee cannot ask for a redundancy during this time. Employers can still instigate redundancy during this time. The full process of redundancy including giving the employee other options should be adhered to.
- Current investigations and disciplinary issues: Continue the usual procedures during this time. If an employee does not want to cooperate suspend it until the employee is back in the work setting.
- Holiday days still accrue for employees receiving the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. Employees are entitled to paid holidays and they should accrue holiday days during the time that they are receiving the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme.
- There are 3 criteria to adhere to in terms of GDPR during these times: 1: Communicate with the employee on their request. 2: Provide contact information on who is dealing with the matter. 3: Document all communication on the issue.
- It is important to be reasonable when asking an employee to come to their place of work. The employee may have personal health concerns, childcare obligations or they may be a carer.
- There are certain obligations that an employer must adhere to when there has been an outbreak of Covid-19 in the workplace. Ensure that the infected employee stays at home and isolates. Calmly inform employees that there has been an outbreak. Let them know that if they develop symptoms contact their doctor and follow the doctors advice. Depending on the doctors advice self isolate or return to work.
- How to deal with contracts issued to new employees with start dates into the future? There are two options: 1, Contact the employee and explain the situation. Ask the employee to postpone the start date and if the employee agrees send a letter or an email to confirm this. 2, If the employee does not want to postpone the start date, the employee will have to start work and may be laid off.
- How to manage employees working from home; Maintain relationships with employees in a positive way as the organisation will need them when usual business returns.
We have lots more webinars coming over the next few months as part of our webinar series 2020:
23rd April: ‘How to stay on top of your personal finances during Covid-19’
30th April: ‘Working remotely top tips on staying motivated and getting the most from your day’
7th May: ‘Coping with physical and mental wellbeing
The webinars promise to be packed full of useful information presented from experts in their field.
To register your interest please email: Sarah@sandyford.ie and keep an eye on our social pages for more information.
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