(1) Health and Wellbeing feature opportunity
Could your organisation benefit from being part of a brand new Health and Wellbeing publication in 2020? A focus on all our very best local organisations!
(No charge to Coleraine BID members )
(2) Call for Easter 2020 Ideas
Planning is underway to run a fun programme of activities in Coleraine and promote this across various media channels. We want to hear any ideas or suggestions to make this event even better. Email - [email protected]
(3) Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Business Continuity Information for Coleraine BID members.
The following information may be useful, especially to our independent businesses who may not have an HR function.
The Coronavirus, which seems to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, is a potentially lethal condition that bears similarities to SARS. It has already been registered in the UK, Ireland and in numerous other countries across the world. In light of this, organisations should be prepared to take steps to try to minimise the dangers posed by this outbreak.
Travel to affected areas
Organisations should not insist that an employee travels to such an area for work related purposes and should advise employees against travel to such areas for both work and holiday purposes. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against all but essential travel to a number of locations which is being updated daily.
It is understood that the virus can transfer between humans via saliva. Routine sanitisation and hygiene measures are said to be the best way to protect against becoming infected.
Practical alternatives to travel include postponing a trip, and holding meetings via Skype or video conference where possible.
Employees returning from affected areas
Whilst organisations owe a duty of care to employees to take reasonable steps to ensure their health and safety and to protect employees against reasonably foreseeable risks, there is currently no legal obligation to impose a precautionary suspension of non-symptomatic employees returning from holiday or work in an area known to have experienced incidences of Coronavirus.
Additionally, third party pressure from colleagues should not be regarded as a sufficient reason to impose a suspension. Where a returning employee appears to be symptomatic of potential exposure, they should be referred to their GP and matters taken from there. If the GP determines that they are symptomatic and certifies them unfit for work then they should be treated as off sick as per normal organisational procedure.
Colleagues who have had contact with the symptomatic employee should be made aware of the symptoms and advised to contact their GP.
If the GP does not certify the employee unfit for work, but the organisation is still concerned, then they may consider briefly suspending them on precautionary grounds.
Where an organisation does choose to suspend returning employees just as a precaution, it will have to be on full pay unless the contract gives the employer a right to suspend without pay for this reason. Such a suspension should not be considered a ‘medical suspension’.
Booked annual leave
Employees may wish to cancel their holiday plans at short notice if they were planning to visit affected areas and this may result in requests to postpone holiday dates that have already been agreed by the employer. These requests should be granted where possible, otherwise employees might feel pressured to risk taking the holiday as originally planned.
For further information on updating your continuity plan see these links;