COVID-19 has changed lives all over the globe. The schools are closed, most of the people have lost their jobs, and some are working from home. People who are working from home are mostly parents and they have to deal with their kids as well.
Majority of the companies have implemented work from home strategy to continue the work. But employers have to look into one thing that the employees have sufficient time to spend with their family. Employers should come up with some family-friendly policies that should include paid sick leaves, flexible working hours, access to quality and affordable child care, and other things that can reduce the pressure on parents. In these difficult times, we have to work together to get out of this situation.
In the following blog, we are going to share seven ways in which employers can take care of their employees and their families during the coronavirus outbreak:
1-Providing Flexible Working Hours
As employees are staying at home so they have to fulfill the duties of parents at the same time. Keeping this in mind, employers should provide flexible working hours to the workers so that they can have the freedom to work. But it will be the responsibility of the employees to complete the work on time without any excuse.
The needs of working parents can differ, they need time to take care of their children and families. The flexible working arrangements will include teleworking, compressing work week, protected long-term leave for taking care of their sick relatives or elder.
2-Ensuring Good Hygiene In and Out of Workplace
Good hygiene is very much important nowadays. It is essential to keep yourself and others safe. Those parents who are performing important on-site duties, the employers can protect them by taking the following steps:
- Providing a handwashing station with running water and soap.
- Alcohol-based hand rubs if washing facilities are not available.
- In the case of breastfeeding mothers, they should be provided clean and comfortable breastfeeding facilities.
- Employers can also protect the employees who are working remotely by sharing the preventive measure, travel guidance, and ways to tell their children about the virus.
3-Assessment of Current Workplace Policies
As companies are shifted to work from home policy, they need to assess things properly. This should be done to ensure that the employees are doing the work with ease and they are able to support their family. Companies should start focusing on the needs of working parents. Special attention should be given to groups like migrant, informal, temporary, workers with disabilities, pregnant, and nursing workers who don’t have access to benefits like paid sick leave.
4-Provide Accessible & Quality Childcare
One of the major concerns for the parents will be the health of their children. Due to the situation, most of the childcare options are closed. Some are operated with very limited supervision with compromise on the safety. This is the point where employers need to step in and they can help parents in different ways. They can offer parents childcare referral systems, flexible work arrangements, and subsidies.
5-Guidance About Medical Support
If any worker gets sick, the first important thing for him or for his family will be good medical support. Employers can help their employees by providing good medical providers and services if any of the workers is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. For instance, employers can easily share the addresses and phone numbers of the health authorities, local health, and emergency hotlines. They can also provide guidance to the workers for safe transport to health-care providers.
6-Helping Workers and Families in Handling Stress
It is the duty of the company to provide support to the workers who feel confused, scared, and anxious about the COVID-19 outbreak. They can support parents who are helping their children to handle fear and anxiety. Employers need to ensure that the information should be provided via reliable sources. Furthermore, they need to ensure that all workers should have full access to psychosocial services. They should provide all the comfort and resources that working parents need for the care of their children.
7-Reducing Financial Burden During COVID-19
The financial burden can really affect families. As the situation is worse in terms of health so it is important for employers to reduce the financial burden of workers if any of them get sick due to COVID-19. Some of the support measures that employers should take include paid sick leaves, employment protection, economic subsidies for the health expenditures, and economic transfers like child benefits. Most importantly, vulnerable groups like informal workers and low-income groups should be provided with great support to handle their financial burdens.
It is important for employers to come up with family-friendly policies for all the employees irrespective of their employment status and gender. Promoting a culture in which workers should feel comfortable is very much important. Special care should be given to the working mothers so that they don’t feel discomfort while working and they should be supported at every level. By providing the best family-friendly policies, employers can easily play an important role in the well-being of the working parents.
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