Fighting coronavirus: employers are to draw up a plan of actions in an emergency situation
Law firm Pepeliaev Group recommends that employers devise a plan of actions in case the coronavirus spreads further.
Coordinated actions are of crucial importance in any emergency situation.
What will your company do if:
- authorities issue an order that offices (cafés, stores, etc.) should be closed on a mass scale and you should switch, if possible, to remote operations. Such an order may take effect starting from the day after it is published, leaving no time to employers to tackle such issues as notifications to employees regarding remote operations or an interruption of its operations, the selection of the legal framework for such interruption (suspension, idle time or another), drawing up necessary HR documentation, arrangements for remote operations, etc.
- the number of sick people in your company (store, factory) is so high that the remaining employees cannot maintain ongoing business processes to the fullest extent;
- schools and kindergartens are closed and many employees have to stay at home with their children. By his order No. 20-UM dated 14 March 2020, the Moscow Mayor has introduced flexible attendance in schools. Many parents have already decided to leave their children at home. Moscow schools will be closed starting from 21 March 2020 (the Mayor’s Order No. 21-UM dated 16 March 2020). In this regard, an employer is advised to come up with a clear action plan in terms of both communications with its employees and formalisation of their absence at work and the planning of business processes.
What to think about and what to do
We recommend that you take a serious approach to the legal formalisation of any possible options for interaction with your employees in connection with the epidemic that is currently unfolding.
Several companies have already contacted us recently seeking assistance in devising the above action plan and establishing communications with their employees. We will be happy to share our experience and to draw up solutions that suit your business.
It should be separately noted that Order No. 20-UM has extended the circle of people who should isolate themselves for 14 days (these now include not only persons who have come back from regions of particular danger, but also those who live together with them). Employers are now obliged not to allow such people to come to work.
When you devise an action plan, we recommend that you state that both an employee and the company should notify each other of it being impossible to come to the office, as well as of any legal options for formalising non-admission to work.