Employers should review their employment policies in wake of Coronavirus

11 Mar 2020

The confirmation of cases of Covid-19 in the Channel Islands has forced employers to consider their existing employment policies and, in some cases, implement dedicated ‘Coronavirus policies’, according to Bedell Cristin.

The leading offshore law firm’s employment law team has recently advised one of the largest Channel Island businesses to assist with drawing up new and revised policies to account for the spread of the virus.

David Cadin, Jersey managing partner at Bedell Cristin, outlined that Channel Island businesses face some specific challenges.

“The close nature of the islands means that many businesses operate on a pan-island basis and even more have employees engaged in a wide range of roles – from back-office to public-facing staff,” said Mr Cadin. “This sheer variety means that employment policies need to be broad-ranging and ensure that all employees, and the employer, are suitably protected and accounted for.”

The ever-evolving threat posed by Coronavirus is impacting the business environment and has caused many companies to explore options such as allowing staff to work from home, splitting teams across multiple sites and limiting contact with the public.

“Each business is different and each is facing its own challenges and demands as a result of the virus,” advised Mr Cadin. “We have worked collaboratively and quickly with local HR departments to identify their circumstances and help them put the right policies in place to allow them to continue to function and protect their employees.”

Although the current Coronavirus outbreak presents a real threat, measures must be adopted simultaneously to ensure business continuity and virus containment within the workforce.

Bedell Cristin has produced a briefing document to give employers and employees and overview of what they can do to mitigate against the risks.

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