More businesses are expected to reopen in the coming weeks with the downgrade to Alert Level 2 in the National Capital Region. However, some employers are still uncertain of correct return to workplace protocols.
In a discussion with the American Chamber of Commerce, Andrew Candelet, general manager of International SOS Philippines, emphasized that organizations should have airtight return-to-work policies to ensure workplace safety.
He said companies need to be agile, responsive and have policies that abide by the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) and Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) guidelines.
“DTI and DOLE Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19 guidelines are serious considerations for companies that plan to have employees report to their headquarters. These include providing clear company policies, resources, and materials, assignment of safety officers, enhanced health insurance, shuttle services, accommodations, local community hiring, and a COVID-19 hotline for employees,” Candelet said.
He said addressing employees’ concerns could ensure their well-being and productivity.
International SOS, the world’s leading health, travel, and security solutions provider, said employers must be respectful of unvaccinated employees and staff fearful of working in enclosed, shared workspaces, and provide alternative work areas for them.
Dr. Carrianne Ewe, medical director of International SOS Philippines, forewarned of cyclical incidences of COVID-19 infection surges and declines as the pandemic transitions to endemic.
“An organization’s ability to step up or step down its operations during a surge or afterward affects business continuity. The best way to protect your organization is to have regular testing, quarantine, social distancing, and sound health policies at the office,” said Dr. Ewe.
To help organizations through this process, International SOS developed WorkSafe. WorkSafe enables companies to safeguard employees and business operations, adhere to health and safety regulations and use digital tools like the AOKPass, a blockchain-based digital health certification co-founded by the International Chamber of Commerce.
Resuming on-site business operations requires preparation. With thorough planning, the right tools, and a cautious approach, organizations may soon see some of their employees face-to-face rather than through a screen.
For more information on How to Safely Return to the Workplace, visit: https://www.internationalsos.com/medical-and-security-services/return-to-operations-test