I think it’s safe to say that almost every business has had to change, adapt and innovate as a result of COVID-19. The pandemic may have even been lucrative outcome for your business, but you’ve still had to adapt your way of working. Yet as we’ve scrambled to respond to, and recover from, challenges, many businesses have struggled to ensure that their HR policies are updated to reflect our ‘new normal’.
Now is the perfect opportunity to carve out some time to make sure that your HR policies are fit for purpose in a post-COVID workplace. Here are our pointers for where to begin.
Business Continuity Plans
What happens to your management structure if your key leaders are taken ill? What if your building is destroyed, or your assets are lost? Or what if — just imagine — there’s another national lockdown, but you somehow need to keep your business going.
Business Continuity Planning seeks to preempt threats to your business and work out which continuity arrangements are in place to safeguard or mitigate against risks.
Update your Business Continuity Plans in light of learning from 2020, and if you don’t have one, begin producing it now. That way you can respond to threats in a timely way and protect staff, brand reputation and profit.
Are your sickness policies workable right now?
If staff are unable to access a GP, do you still require a doctor’s letter?
When does sickness pay kick in if staff are self-isolating due to a positive COVID test or the fact that they’ve been in contact with someone with COVID?
It’s time to update your Sickness Policy to make sure they are practicable, affordable for your business and fair to your staff. Consider how sickness leave works, what reporting is expected, and what to do if trust is abused.
If you’ve adopted remote or flexible working this year and it wasn’t previously explicit in employee contracts, then make sure these are changed to reflect changes in your working pattern.
As well as the expectation for flexible working, make sure you’re clear about working hours, and providing any equipment, software or stipend to make remote working possible.
Emergency contact details
Updating employee details is a bit of housekeeping which often gets forgotten. This happens especially when the onus is put on employees to remember to update management when they or their emergency contact changes phone number, or moves house.
With current ‘track and trace’ responsibilities, holding the proper contact details for your staff is vital.
Ensure that all employee details and emergency contact details are up to date, and consider setting in place an annual reminder to review and update these.
Working procedures and risk management
This is perhaps one of the areas which has seen the most extreme changes over the course of 2020.
Ensure that you have a properly formulated policy, in line with the latest government guidance, to keep employees safe in the workplace.
This should include what you as the employer are doing to adhere to regulations, and also the behaviours required of your staff.
Download our guidance documents
We’ve created a series of guidance documents, including editable policy and contract templates, to make it is simple as possible for your business to thrive in the post-COVID workplace.