Experts Recommend Businesses Revisit their Absence and Time Off Policies as the Corona Virus Spreads

News of the Corona Virus or COVID-19 has been making headlines all around the world. Since its outbreak in Wuhan, China, and it’s rapid spread in other places around the world, government and business leaders around the world are concerned about how to keep people well and how it will affect the overall global economy. 

Adman Kadwai reported on the HR Dive website that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been increasing its warnings about keeping the spread of the virus from becoming a global pandemic.  

To facilitate this, the director for the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Nancy Messonnier told attendees of a conference call with reporters on February 25th that “now is the time” for schools and businesses to prepare for the spread of COVID-19.

Among the suggestions made by the CDC  is for businesses to substitute hosting in-person meetings with video or telephone conference calls as well as making arrangements for workers who can telecommute to do so. 

Other measures that business leaders can take to protect the health of workers include:

  • Encourage employees to practice sanitary practices such as handwashing, the use of hand sanitizer.
  • Asking workers who have traveled to China to work from home instead of returning to the officer for the virus’s incubation period, 14 days.
  • Adjusting policies so that workers who are sick can stay home rather than being penalized.

According to a survey conducted by Accountemps, 90% of workers have reported working while they were sick because they had too much work (54%), or didn’t want to utilize their sick time leave. Employers can do more by allowing workers to telecommute or by implementing paid time off (PTO) policies that encourage sick workers to take the time that they need to get well.