Employer COVID-19 Reopening Checklist

Returning employees to the workplace during and after the COVID-19 pandemic won’t be as simple as announcing a reopening or return-to-the-workplace date and carrying on business as usual. Not only will many workplaces be altered initially, but some changes may also be longterm, even beyond the imagined “finish line” of a widely available vaccine or treatment.

The details of each employer’s plan to return will look different, but most employers will need to understand and start preparing for now for these 10 Key Issues:

  1. Workplace Safety
    Employers have to ensure their workplaces are as safe as they can be. Employees and customers alike may have fears of returning to business as usual; preparing for and communicating how safety is a top priority will allay fears and increase brand loyalty.
  2. Recall Procedures
    Plan for how and when employees will return to work or to the worksite to create an organized and controlled approach. All employees returning on the same day at the same time could be overwhelming and possibly unsafe.
  3. Employee Benefits
    Whether employees remained on the employer’s benefits plans or not, certain notices or actions may be required to stay compliant. Communicating these changes to employees should be done as soon as possible.
  4. Compensation
    Many employers may have made compensation changes during the crisis thus far, and others may need to make them in order to reopen. How the disruption has affected compensation policies going forward will also need to be reviewed and communicated to affected staff.
  5. Remote work
    Telecommuting may have proven to work well during the pandemic for some employers and employees. Using it not only as a short-term emergency tool to survive the next year but also as a permanent work/life balance and cost-saving measure should be considered.
  6. Communications
    Establishing a clear communication plan will allow employees and customers to understand how the organization plans to reopen or reestablish business processes.
  7. New-Hire Paperwork
    Employees returning to work who remained on the payroll would generally not need to complete new paperwork. However, for those separated from employment, such as laid-off workers, it may be best to follow normal hiring procedures.
  8. Policy changes
    It is no longer business as usual, and employers will likely need to update or create policies to reflect the new normal.
  9. Business continuity plans
    Employers will have learned valuable lessons regarding their business continuity plans, or lack thereof, during the past months. Now is the time to review and revise the plan to prepare for future emergencies.
  10. Unions
    Employers with unionized workforces may have additional considerations.

Download a detailed checklist below.

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Felicia G. Harris
​Principal Owner

This Podcast will provide you with the latest human resources trends whether you only do business in your home state or across the United States. You will be able to call in and talk with human resources professionals about the issues that keep you up at night, and more importantly, hear best practices from other business owners that have been in your shoes