The past two months have seen the COVID-19 situation escalate quickly, with WFH a new acronym. From being merely advised by regulators to send employees home to work, firms were later mandated by law to direct employees to do so unless not reasonably practicable, and, as it currently stands, all non-essential businesses had been required to shut down or work from home during the Circuit Breaker.
With the Circuit Breaker currently announced to end on 1 Jun 2020, guidelines have been and will continue to be issued to prepare employers on a return to the workplace with safe distancing at workplace (SDW). How will these measures impact you? What is the line between what employers must do or need not do, where the measures are not worded to be mandatory (e.g. where measures use the words “where possible”)? Yet, if the past two months were anything to go by, it is that the advisories will not remain status quo subject to developments from the COVID-19 situation. How will you monitor and adjust your plans quickly? What BCP plans do you have to make? What legal issues do you have to prepare for now so that you can respond nimbly?
On top of all these, whilst business is not for the most part carrying on as normal, you may still be looking to hire and to manage your employees. When hiring, are you restricted to only hiring locals? If employing foreigners, will you be able to obtain the requisite approvals? On this, is it just the approval of an EP or WP or something else? If employers do not see a positive turn in their business after the Circuit Breaker ends, will employers be forced to deal with termination issues, including redundancies? How must employers consider these decisions responsibly and fairly, particularly so with regard to the JSS payments or other government grants? Are there legal implications in not doing so?
Come join us in this update cum discussion via a Webinar, where we will discuss very practical points and what the developments mean for you.