It has been a rollercoaster year for businesses in every sector and individual organisations have been impacted in a specific manner by the pandemic. As we continue to live with Covid-19, we wish to alert HAI members to some HR considerations that are likely to be relevant as we look to close out Winter 2020.
1. Annual Leave 2020:
It has been a broken year with the opening and closing of businesses as a result of the lock-downs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Employees may not have accrued their normal annual leave figures. They may also not have taken their usual quota of holidays if initial plans were cancelled and nothing new was ever planned.
We recommend that employers conduct a stock take on outstanding annual leave totals for 2020 now and communicate the results to their employees. Develop a plan for using untaken annual leave or consider what employees can carry over into 2021. If you generally do not allow a carry-over of untaken annual leave perhaps you could make a special allowance for this year only. (Be sure to clarify this in writing!).
Remember employees cannot be paid for any untaken annual leave. Ultimately, it is up to the employee to take annual leave, but an employer must be seen to make sufficient efforts to allow time slots for leave to be taken.
2. WRC Inspections:
The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) are currently carrying out inspections on both employment law compliance and Government Return to Work Safely and Covid-19 protection measures. As part of this, they are paying specific attention to the following five areas:
We recommend that employers review and communicate their relevant policies, encourage employees to behave in a respectful manner at work and ensure employees know what protocols to follow should an issue arise.
3. Mental health support:
This year has been extremely challenging both physically and mentally for everyone. Mental health issues have come to the fore as an area of concern and employers must be more aware and understanding of the impact Covid-19 may have had on their team’s mental health.
There are a range of supports available from both Government and Independent bodies, such as:
Remember, this has been a challenging year for both employers and employees alike. Take some time to acknowledge the efforts put in by your employees and consider if, in the likely absence of a Christmas party, there are other ways in which you can show your appreciation to staff who have stayed the course in these unprecedented times.
We wish everyone all the best for the rest of the year. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 021 4634154.
This Business Support article featured in the November/December 2020 edition of The Hardware Journal