For those organisations that have had to stop their operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there are a range of risks as well as opportunities that should be under consideration.
Returning to the workplace
To help you decide which of your staff should return to the workplace, the CIPD has provided a useful flow diagram outlining three key tests for businesses to meet before bringing employees back to the workplace:
- Is it essential?
- Is it sufficiently safe?
- Is it mutually agreed?
In addition, here is an employee self-declaration template for you to use prior to allowing your staff back into the workplace.
It is possible, when lockdown is relaxed, there will be high levels of staff demand in certain industries, and organisations may find there isn’t the supply available to meet their demand.
This may occur for a variety of reasons, such as foreign workers returning home, employees finding alternative roles in other companies, or it may be the inability of individuals to return to work due to their dependents not being able to return to school.
If your business uses agencies for the recruitment of staff, it is critical that you maintain relationships with them at this time. Make sure they know how important to you they are, as they may be critical in being able to recruit the right staff for you in the future. Communicate regularly with them, let them know your business plans and what your likely staffing needs are going to be.
Alternatively, it may be an opportune time to discuss agency rates. Whilst agency rates are likely to have fallen at the moment, when a recovery is underway and businesses are wanting to attract staff, you can guarantee those rates will increase. Can rate agreements be put in place now?
High calibre staff
Many high calibre staff may not now be in employment due to their industries being affected by the pandemic. They may feel let down by their previous employers or may not even have a job opportunity to return to.
This may therefore be a chance to recruit high quality staff.
Aston Lark has compiled a general recovery checklist to assist businesses when coming out of lockdown. You can access this checklist here.
In respect of staffing needs, companies should be considering issues such as:
- Internal resources to carry out the recruitment process – interviews, checks etc
- What training / retraining arrangements will need to be made for employees, whether they are new employees or furloughed employees?
- Are there an adequate number of experienced employees to operate key items of machinery and equipment?
- Have you communicated changes in procedures / operations to employees?
- Will there be adequate numbers of trained first aiders and fire marshals available?
Return to the Business Recovery Toolkit