In response to COVID-19, we’ve compiled a number of best practices we recommend taking to in conjunction with directives provided by various levels of Government and Health Authorities.
Employer Communication Measures
Now, more than ever, open lines of communication with your household employees is absolutely essential. With so much information being generated across television, print, and online media, it can be a challenge to filter out false information. Employers should not assume that everyone fully understands the facts about COVID-19.
- Ensure employees are aware of the symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, difficulty breathing, dry cough, etc.) and encourage them to seek medical advice over the phone rather than in-person, where possible and appropriate. Provide local tele-health numbers, as provided by local government health authorities.
- Ensure it is absolutely clear that if an employee(s) are not feeling well, have any reason to suspect they may have been exposed to COVID-19, or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 that they should NOT report to the household.
- If you have an existing sick day or illness policy, ensure you revise it accordingly, this should include removing requirements for a doctor’s note, and become more flexible and lenient.
- Identify who staff members should call to inform that they are staying at home, in the event they are not feeling well.
- If you, the employer, and/or a member of your family are self-isolating or self-quarantining due to recent travel or because you feel ill or have reason to believe that you/they may have been exposed to COVID-19, or have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should NOT ask your staff to work within your residence at the same time.
- Members of your household staff should be asked to self-isolate at home for the required period and should not be expected to perform their regular duties in your home.
- Again, reassure employees that in the event you or a member of your family need to self-isolate at home for the recommended 14-day period, that they are not required to report to work and will continue to receive their pay and benefits.
Travel Requirements, Self-Isolation and Self-Quarantine
- If you or a member of your household staff has travelled outside of the Country or Region you must follow Government and Health Authority guidance for self-isolation and self-quarantine.
- In many cases, this is a period of 14-days upon your return, but may vary based on your location; consult the Governmental Health Authority in your area.
- Reassure employees that in the event they are not feeling well and/or are required to self-isolate at home for the recommended period, that they are not required to report to work and will continue to receive their normal compensation.
- Check-in regularly with members of your household staff to ensure they are feeling safe and supported during this difficult time.
The following are links to resources from trusted sources that you should continue to refer to, as information is being updated on a regular basis.
Public Health Agency of Canada
In the United States
Center for Disease Control (CDC)
World Health Organization