On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the new 2019 nCoV (coronavirus) outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. At particular risk are organizations with significant employee populations in affected areas; however, as cases continue to be reported globally, many more are affected by evolving travel restrictions and recommendations. Supply chain disruptions, employee absenteeism, travel, tourism, and the global economy could be significantly impacted if the outbreak persists.
Your organization should take action to manage its own risk, including potential effects on your people and operations. Keeping employees informed as a best practice and providing resources will increase communication amongst staff. Below is a list for HR practitioners and additional resources that can be communicated.
HR to do’s:
- Monitor updates from your national and regional health authorities (see list below), and other public health officials and government entities.
- Review and test your business continuity, crisis management, and crisis communications plans.
- Based on local health authority
guidance, remind employees of:
- The symptoms of coronavirus
- What an individual can do to prevent contracting coronavirus
- What a person who has the symptoms of the infection should do
- What to do if you have been in contact with someone who gets the infection
- Communicate best practices for group gatherings, public facing roles, telework, and other mitigation and management strategies.
- Keep your employees informed and educated and any steps being taken to safeguard their health.
- Follow travel restriction guidance from authorities in your country. Ensure that any employees who must travel to affected areas take steps to protect themselves.
- Consider how the outbreak could affect your suppliers and vendors and explore sourcing goods, ingredients, and component parts or services from alternative suppliers.
- Review your applicable insurance policies — including workers’ compensation, general liability, and both traditional and non-damage property/business interruption coverage — and prepare for potential claim filings.
- Determine if special procedures or exceptions are required to protect or support individuals who may be unable to attend work due to vulnerability, quarantines or other restrictions.
Below you will find a list of provincial health authorities and their specific information on coronavirus. We also included other credible national and international resources as a reference.
|Province||Website for updates|
|British Columbia||BC Centre for Disease Control|
|Alberta||Government of Alberta|
|Saskatchewan||Government of Saskatchewan|
|Manitoba||Government of Manitoba|
|Ontario||Government of Ontario|
|Québec||Gouvernement du Québec|
|Nova Scotia||Government of Nova Scotia|
|New Brunswick||Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health|
|Prince Edward Island||Government of Prince Edward Isla|
|Newfoundland & Labrador||NL: Department of Health and Community Services|
|Yukon||Government of Yukon|
|Northwest Territories||NWT: Health and Social Services|
|Nunavut||Nunavut: Department of Health|
Other Resources (Federal, international, other tools):