The return to work in the midst of the de-escalation of the confinement imposed as a result of the health crisis has forced companies to adopt a series of measures to safeguard the safety and health of their employees, as well as to preserve public health.
The work from home system remains the ideal in those sectors where it is possible. Regardless, Companies are not legally bound about it, accordingly, the company can build up or permit work in the workplace, given that particular preventive measures are embraced both with respect to the work environment and the employees themselves.
In other sectors such as industry, horticulture, animals, and foundations open to general society, and so on, employees must come back to their workplace, in an arrival staggered by levels of profitable need and considering the presence of individuals particularly who are at risk to COVID-19.
Who are at the major risk to COVID-19?
People with Poor Immune System, or long term illness(Chronic disease such as Hypertension, chronic kidney disease, chronic Lung disease, Chronic Liver Disease, Diabetes, Cancer patients who are under treatment or about to get treatment) are more Prone Infection risk. Even Elder People of age around 60 and above , Mothers who are pregnant or lactating are also at Major risk.
Is there any Chance that Vulnerable Employees should work at the Office?
At whatever point possible, telecommuting Or Work from Home is suggested. On the off chance that this is not possible, The Regulatory Authorities who are responsible for Setting up guidelines for COVID-19 should be contacted and asked up on the preventive estimates that will be received and the chance of adjusting the work environment or moving the worker to another job without any risk of infection.
In the event that nothing, unless there are other options, choices are possible, the Regional Authorities are ought to set up a report for the Public Health Department. The Public Health Service must decide whether the employee ought to stay confined and assuming this is the case similar to temporary Disability just like Accidents during work hours.
Is it Necessary to Surveillance Employees during work hours?
Absolutely, there should be a Surveillance system for both work from home and from the workplace or working environment. In any case, Biometrics which require physical touch identification such as fingerprint authentication can be avoided and replaced by another authenticity system that ensures sufficient cleanliness measures. On the off chance that replacement cannot be done, the fingerprint readers can be sanitized after each use.
What guidelines should a company follow before returning to the workplace?
Employers must Assure their employees that the workplace has all the essential materials as per the guidelines released on cleanliness and social distancing. What’s more, they should also set up guidelines for proper handling and waste disposal to a specified allocated region.
Similarly, the company must control and proper screen the right usage of cleanliness and wellbeing measures inside the company, with uncommon accentuation on the protective measures that must be taken for those employees who, because of their very own personal problems such as disabilities (physical, mental or tangible) are especially prone to more risk.
What health and hygiene guidelines should companies follow when their employees are returning to the workplace?
This involves strengthening the cleanliness of frequently touched surfaces, bathroom surfaces, and toilets, and providing personnel with the necessary hygiene products. In general, it is necessary to maintain an adequate supply of soap, hydroalcoholic solutions, and tissues.
Informational signs on hand washing and respiratory hygiene (how to cough and sneeze) should also be posted, and employees should be reminded of instructions on the correct use and maintenance of all PPE (especially gloves and masks when it is not possible to keep a distance. safe interpersonal).
At each shift change, it is necessary to clean the work area where an employee has been.
The workplace must maintain a temperature between 23ºC and 26ºC and it is necessary to reinforce the cleanliness of the air filters and increase the ventilation level of the air conditioning systems to renew the air more regularly.
Staggering access to the work center and staggered use of changing rooms should be allowed, and pedal-operated trash bins should be provided. The company must enable merchandise reception areas that respect safety distances and must place protective methacrylate screens for counters and service areas for concurrent companies, etc.
Can companies impose mandatory medical examinations on office employees?
Although the general rule is that medical examinations are voluntary, the truth is that we are in a pandemic in which it is currently vital to have medical check-ups.
We must bear in mind that the prevention services cannot evaluate the coronavirus, so they will probably only verify the symptoms. If they are compatible with COVID-19, the employee should go home and request the test from the health authorities. Bring Back Employees after COVID-19 can be dangerous but with proper guidance, you can achieve employee management.
Can the employer take the temperature of his employees before they enter the workplace?
Given the exceptional circumstances, taking the temperature is an ideal measure to detect possible infections and safeguard the safety and health of other employees who attend the workplace, as well as third parties with whom staff can interact. However, it should be limited to the detection of a possible contagion and should be carried out with approved teams and by prevention personnel.
What happens if an employee has symptoms related to COVID-19?
If an employee has COVID-19 related symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath, etc.) or has been in close contact or in a shared space without maintaining interpersonal distance from a person affected by COVID-19, they will refrain attending work until it is confirmed that there is no risk of contagion. Therefore, it is advisable to establish protocols in case an employee presents symptoms, to protect him and the rest of the personnel.
Is the employee in preventive quarantine or affected by COVID-19 required to inform the company of this?
The general rule is that an employee is not required to report the reason for his medical leave to the company. However, as the Spanish Data Protection Agency points out in its Report on data processing in relation to COVID-19, in this case, public health has priority over the right to privacy of employees, so the Employee should inform the employer if suspected of having the virus, to safeguard not only their own health but also that of other employees in the workplace, so that appropriate measures can be taken.
How should the company communicate that an employee is infected or has symptoms to the rest of the staff?
To preserve the right to privacy of employees, the company should not provide names of people. The company can take the same steps without having to identify a specific employee.
What happens if an employee refuses to go to the workplace for fear of contagion?
Taking into account that working from home should be understood as a health prevention measure, in those sectors in which it is possible to continue working remotely and it is not necessary to attend the workplace or travel to continue the activity, the recommendation should be, whenever possible, that the employee works from home.
However, in the event that it is mandatory for the worker to go to his workplace, he cannot refuse and could be subject to a sanction, unless the employee had a recommendation from the health authorities.
Do employees have any right to participate in the adoption of health protection measures?
Yes, employees have the right to consult and participate in all aspects of health and safety at work. When a company has worker representatives, a consultation will be held with these representatives. The employee has the right to be informed directly of the risks to their health and safety and of the preventive measures taken. The employer must consult with the workers and sufficiently in advance the adoption of, among other things:
The planning and organization of work in the company and the introduction of new technologies. Organization and development of health protection and occupational risk prevention activities. The appointment of employees in charge of emergency measures. Any other action that may have a substantial effect on the safety and health of employees.