HR leaders revising pandemic procedures

A survey has revealed less than 10% of businesses had a workplace or HR policy covering a disease pandemic

However, approximately 80% of HR departments now have a policy or plan to introduce one in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Fifty-nine per cent of respondents confirmed that they had implemented a workplace policy addressing pandemic disease in response to Coronavirus.

Eleven per cent still plan to implement a policy, a further 11% had no plans to implement one at the time of response, and just 9% had a policy in place before the Coronavirus outbreak.

The survey also found employers are being cautious about travel, with 50% going beyond government guidance.

Twenty-four per cent reported they are restricting both international and UK business travel beyond Foreign and Commonwealth Office guidance and 26% are just restricting international business travel beyond the guidance.

Furthermore, 88% of businesses are managing NHS-recommended self-isolation by requesting that their employees work from home.

Businesses are taking various other approaches to the virus, including providing sick leave and sick pay to employees (46%) and giving staff full pay without work or sick leave (17%).

James Davies, a partner at Lewis Silkin, said: “These are unprecedented times and employers are having to quickly adapt, evolve or scale up their workplace policies in response to Coronavirus.

“This is a fast-moving situation and businesses will need to collaborate and learn from each other to know how best to move forward, with the wellbeing of staff and business continuity very much front of mind.”

Lewis Silkin surveyed 65 senior HR leaders and in-house counsel in businesses employing more than 200,000 employees between them.