COVID-19: Long Term Impact Coronavirus - HR Guide

What Employers Should Consider For Effective Contingency Planning

COVID-19 is now a top priority for any business in The Netherlands. Please make sure to stay up to date with daily updates published here: COVID-19 Coronavirus Netherlands – Employers Guide.

In this article, we will dive into the potential long-term impacts and effective contingency planning for HR in regard to the Coronavirus.

Task force Health & Safety

It is important to consider setting up a dedicated task force, reporting to senior management, to take responsibility for assessing and managing the impact of COVID-19 and secure the relevant governments steps are being followed. In this taskforce make sure support functions are present e.g. HR, IT, Procurement and Facilities.

Make sure to have a business continuity plan in place, to make sure employees can work from home and take into account the employers responsibility on health & safety and security.

Policies & Procedures

Consider to have the following policies and procedures in place:

  • Sick Leave Regulation/ Protocol;
  • Working From Home (WFH) Policy;
  • Policies prohibiting or limiting business travel/ travel ban;
  • Communication procedures on alternative communication channels (telephone and video-conferencing);
  • Have back-up arrangements in case employees responsible for health and safety are unable to perform their roles;
  • Make sure to inform/consult with health and safety representatives and works councils/trade unions in relation to the measures being taken;
  • Be compliant with GDPR/privacy legislation in relation to medical data of employees.

Manage operational risks

Evaluate the potential on the risk running the operations remotely.

  • Check the impact on insurances such as WIA, WGA or long term sick leave insurances;
  • Make notifications where applicable and comply strictly with obligations in relation to how and when to notify insurance providers;.
  • Make sure it is possible to comply with salary payments. Is payroll able to process and work remotely?
  • What is the impact on HR and IT operational activities depending on IT and HR systems on site and working remotely.
  • Consider to have in place an electronic signing tool, to avoid issues on printing and signing while working remotely.
  • Make sure to inform all employees consistently including employees seconded or working on the premises of clients.
  • Identify financial impact on HR such as hiring costs, employee benefits, employee insurances, bonus pay out or other.
  • Carefully look at the scenario of potential reorganisation/restructuring.

Dutch Government support for companies

The Dutch Government announced to support companies during COVID-19. Please read below a list of measures the government is offering for employers and self-employed persons [ZZP-er]. Find more information in our blog on: Dutch Government Support Companies

Stay up to date – Manage the impact on the workforce

Ensure that the team leading the taskforce/communication is up to date with the Coronavirus situation. It’s hard for employers and employees to know what to do or what they are expected to do as the situation changes daily. There are also many other questions to be considered, such as what are an employer’s compliance obligations, and how leave, benefit and sick policies apply. Read COVID-19 Coronavirus Netherlands – Employers Guide.  Comply with current legal obligations and government guidance in The Netherlands.


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