Preparing Your Business for a Safe Return to Work: An Employer’s COVID-19 Checklist

Non-essential businesses whose workforce has been remote during the pandemic have started planning their reopening and welcoming employees back onsite. If your business is preparing for your first day back, it’s important to have a return-to-work plan in place and to start executing it prior to the employees’ arrival. There are many things to consider, so to make sure you have all the critical items in your plan, use the COVID-19 checklist below to prepare your business for a safe return to work.

Protect your business and support your employees during the pandemic. Download the COVID-19 Employer Preparation ebook.

The COVID-19 Checklist for Employers

Make sure you are informed and current on COVID-19 and reopening guidelines.

  Review the latest CDC and OSHA guidelines.
  Check the requirements outlined by state and local authorities.
  Verify that your workplace is not in an area that requires community mitigation
  Check in with school districts and children’s programs for potential closures that could affect your employees’ work schedules.

Communicate new plans and policies regarding health and safety.

  Announce changes to policies or new policies that can impact employees.
  Train employees on new health and safety practices.
  Provide information on what actions employees should take if they are not feeling well.
  Assign a point-of-contact for employees to report concerns or self-report if they are sick.

Enforce workplace health and safety protocols.

  Conduct a detailed cleaning and disinfection of the entire business prior to opening.
  After reopening, perform routine cleaning and discourage employees from sharing equipment and spaces.
  Place posters that encourage good hygiene such as handwashing and coughing and sneezing etiquette.
  Place touchless hand sanitizer stations in multiple locations.
  Establish practices to facilitate social distancing, which may include altering the layout of work spaces, installing visual cues to direct foot traffic, and closing or limiting access to common areas.
  Develop a travel policy and safety measures if employees must travel.

Prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19 among employees.

  Identify where and how workers might be exposed to COVID-19 at work by conducting a hazard assessment.
  Consider conducting in-person or virtual screenings that meet social distancing guidelines and EEOC compliance.
  Remind employees and customers to wear face coverings in public settings.
  Encourage sick employees to stay home and follow CDC-recommended steps to safely return to work.
  Take action if an employee is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.

If you haven’t already, evaluate and offer flexible employee benefits.

  Ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of and understand these policies.
  Review changes to leave durations based on new leave laws such as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
  Consider allowing employees to donate sick leave to each other.
  Review state-specific guidance on the availability of unemployment benefits for individuals who may be laid off temporarily or permanently as a result of COVID-19.

Plan ahead and prepare for changes.

  Consult with legal counsel, insurance providers, and necessary stakeholders for input on a plan that reduces liabilities and avoids additional risk.
  Designate a compliance team or manager to stay current on regulations, distribute communications, and help implement and enforce new policies.
  Develop a response plan should an increase of COVID-19 cases occur across your business.
  Update your business continuity plan so your business is prepared for another potential shutdown.

Partner with an HR Provider to Achieve a Safe Return to Work

Businesses like yours are being challenged with the impacts of COVID-19. Human Resources, specifically, is being relied upon heavily to manage different areas, including COVID-19 workplace and employee law compliance, benefits administration, and employee safety training. Before the pandemic started, HR was already taking on multiple tasks. Adding an extra layer of COVID-19 activities can easily increase the risk for mistakes and oversights.

Work with OROhr to offload your COVID-19 workload. OROhr is knowledgeable with COVID-19 workplace health and safety regulations and is up to date on business incentives and economic relief available through current legislation. As a full-service HR provider, OROhr assists your business with payroll, employee benefits, tax services, risk management, and legal services. Partner with OROhr for all of your HR needs and experience an increase in workplace profitability and productivity without worrying if your business is at risk for loss due to COVID-19.

Protect your business and support your employees during the pandemic. Download the COVID-19 Employer Preparation ebook.