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A new online survey reveals less than 10% of businesses had a HR policy in place covering a disease pandemic. Approximately 80% now have a policy, or plan to introduce one in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
An initial group of 65 senior HR leaders and in-house counsel in organisations employing more than 200000 employees between them and the findings are being presented now to help guide employers as they seek to effectively manage their workplace response to coronavirus.
This comes as the WHO has confirmed the status of the virus has been elevated to a pandemic.
58.8% of respondents confirmed that they had implemented a workplace policy addressing pandemic disease in response to COVID-19.
10% still plan to implement a policy while almost 11% still had no plans to implement a policy at the time of response. Less than 10% had a policy in place prior to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Employers are being cautious with regard to travel.
Almost a quarter of respondents have restricted both international and UK domestic travel beyond FCO guidance and a further quarter have restricted international travel specifically beyond FCO guidance.
Remote Working and Isolation
The vast majority of businesses are managing NHS-recommended self-isolation by requesting employees work from home.
However, businesses are taking a nuanced approach with a combination of responses being used, including sick leave and sick pay and full pay without work or sick leave. 51% of respondents are directing some employees to self-isolate as a precaution beyond government advice while a similar number are allowing employees to choose to self-isolate.
57.7% of polices reported by survey respondents cover employees should their care arrangements break down.