Soon working life from offices, shops and factories will return but there will be significant changes. How organisations can bring staff back to work and then operate safely need to be thought out. There will be changes to Health & Safety but also to how HR operates. Organisations will have to calculate and communicate holiday entitlements while balancing increasing demand. How can you communicate effectively and quickly, prove that employees know and understand changes and how do you support them during this stressful time?
Here are some key points to consider and what technology support they will need from their HR platform:
Shift planning: it’s unlikely that workplaces will simply re-open as before with everyone coming back at the same time. Social distancing rules will reduce the number of employees who are back, and employees will need to know their shift patterns and locations in advance. You might use a team approach where some are in the office or working from home on any particular week. Managers can plan shifts and employees can quickly access these on their smart phones.
Health and safety: organisations will need to be sure about H&S and how it has changed. Aside from reducing the number of staff coming into the workplace, they should consider how they educate employees on social distancing rules and changes to procedures. They will need to show they have communicated this and that staff have read and understood the changes.
Policies and procedures: organisations will have to tell employees about changes to their policies and procedures, especially those relating to flexible working, home working and IT security. It will be important that any updates are properly and quickly communicated to staff because it is likely that policies will evolve over the next few months. Having one, consistent channel of communication will make it easier and will reduce the chance of misunderstandings
Annual leave: employers will have to assess employees’ annual leave entitlement and, again, they will have to communicate this clearly. Organisations need to decide when employees should take leave because most won’t be consuming leave during lockdown or furlough. Employers will want to ensure that they have sufficient staff numbers to operate their businesses once they have re-opened. So, they might want to put new holiday rules in place. It is likely that there will be leave carried over to next year.
Adjusting salaries and benefits: employers who have introduced salary cuts and pay deferrals will need to decide whether the measures remain necessary and for how long. Such changes will have to be clear and consistent, so organisations minimise the chance of legal challenges. Again, as with Annual Leave and Policies & Procedures, organisations will need to act transparently and have a source of information to show compliance with legislation.
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