BUSINESS RESPONSE

How to prevent?

The Serbian business community plays a vital role in combating outbreaks of viruses like the coronavirus. From developing life-saving antivirals to supporting global relief efforts to protecting their employees at home and abroad, businesses of all sizes and sectors are stepping up to address this crisis.

It’s becoming crucial that businesses of all sizes and sectors continue to monitor the situation and are as prepared as possible to protect the health of their workers.

Here are COVID-19 Recommendations for Businesses and Check list to protect their workforce from the Coronavirus, while ensuring continuity of operations.

Determine if flex working is an option

Review human resources policies and explore whether you can establish policies and practices, such as flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours. Supervisors should educate employees that if they become sick they should telework instead of coming into the workplace until symptoms are completely resolved.

Here is a list of U.S. businesses that have joined Stay at Home Club due to COVID-19.

Emphasize hygiene etiquete

Place posters that emhasize cough and sneeze etiquette, as well as hand hygiene at your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.

Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.

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.

Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs.Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces can be wiped down by employees before each use.

Travel instructions

Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you or your employees should travel.

Advise employees to check themselves for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before starting travel and notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.

Create an employee communications plan

Establish a process to communicate the latest Coronavirus information to employees and business partners. Anticipate employee fear, anxiety, rumors, and misinformation, and plan communications accordingly.

This is an especially important time to take care of your employees, both physically and emotionally.

Decide how to handle spikes in absenteeism

Early childhood programs and schools may be dismissed, if Coronavirus worsens. Determine how you will operate if absenteeism spikes from increases in sick employees, those who stay home to care for sick family members, and those who must stay home to watch their children if dismissed from school.

Coordinate with state and local health officials

Coordination with state and local health officials is strongly encouraged for all businesses so that timely and accurate information can guide appropriate responses in each location where their operations reside.

Make a business continuity plan

Be prepared to change your business practices if needed to maintain critical operations (e.g., identify alternative suppliers, prioritize customers, consider digital meetings, or temporarily suspend some of your operations if needed).

When employees become sick?

Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible. Consistent with public health guidance, permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member, and that employees are aware of these policies. Actively encourage sick employees to stay home. Raise the awareness about the importance of sick employees staying home and develop non-punitive leave policies. Employees should notify their supervisor if they are sick and won’t be coming into the office.

Employers with more than one business location are encouraged to provide local managers with the authority to take appropriate actions based on the conditions in each locality.

Ensure employees who become sick while traveling or on temporary assignment understand that they should notify their supervisor and should promptly call a healthcare provider for advice if needed.

Employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately.

If an employee is confirmed to have the Coronavirus infection, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to the Coronavirus in the workplace, but maintain confidentiality.

Plan to minimize exposure between healthy employees and also between those employees and the public. Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace.