Your employees are at the core of your business operations. Ensuring that your team is informed and able to report to work will be a foundational element of your return to work strategy. Here are some considerations that your HR team will need to plan for:

developing a return to work transition plan.

While the government has begun relaxing certain measures, your employees may feel nervous about the idea of returning to work. It’s essential that you communicate with them and let them know about your plans for transitioning to work well in advance. Regular communication will show you’re being proactive and assure your workforce that you have a carefully-considered transition plan that prioritises their safety.

rehiring employees after layoffs.

You may have had to lay off employees at some point during the COVID-19 crisis. If you plan to rehire some or all of your laid off employees, you will need to coordinate that process with your HR team. You may find that some employees are unable to return to work (due to finding another job, childcare, tending to a sick relative, or other personal considerations). You’ll need a plan to replace anyone who is essential to your operations but cannot return to work. 

employees who refuse to return to work.

Some employees may decide that they are not comfortable returning to work, even if businesses are given the go-ahead to reopen. For instance, employees who are immunocompromised or caring for children who are home due to school closures may not be able to return to work immediately. Others may simply not feel comfortable returning for personal reasons such as fear of the virus or mental health concerns. You will need to determine who is permitted to work remotely and who must report to work on-site. Develop clear policies and communicate them with employees.

covering gaps in your workforce.

You may find you have critical gaps in your workforce that need to be filled urgently before you can resume business activities. You will need to have a recruitment strategy in place. If you need support building your talent pipeline and filling core roles quickly, a recruitment partner like Randstad can provide support and take this weight off of your HR team. Reach out to our team to develop a recruitment strategy. 

commuting to work.

Determine if your employees have a safe means of transportation to get to work that poses minimal risk to their health. Public transportation is not the best option at this time due to physical distancing measures. Determine what options are available. Modes of transportations such as walking, cycling, and driving are relatively safe. If none of these options are possible, you may consider providing employees with taxi vouchers to reduce their risk of being exposed to COVID-19 during their commute.