Return to Work Checklist

Are your employees returning to work after COVID-19? Below is a checklist to help you cover all of your bases. Click here for a printable PDF of this checklist.

Posting and Policies

  • Post the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) poster in a visible place. Where employees
    will remain working from home, send by email or post to Company intraweb or employee website.
  • Review and revise hiring practices and policies:
    • Have staffing needs changed?
    • Do you need to change benefits or pay to become more competitive?
    • Use remote interviewing techniques as much as possible.
    • Update onboarding practices.
    • If you are recalling only some workers that were laid-off or furloughed, ensure your practices
      for determining who to recall do not discriminate against any group of employees.
  • Review and revise leave policies:
    • Know how the FFCRA affects your previous policies and practices.
    • Consider implementing PTO/vacation rollovers, grace periods, and revise guidelines for usage
      if vacation is forfeited if not used by year end.
    • Consider implementing or revising bereavement leave policies.
    • Ensure that all employees have access to and an understanding of all leave policies that may
      apply to them.
  • Review and revise work from home and child care policies.
  • Update work travel policies in light of any new orders in your state and any new practices being
    implemented in the workplace to keep employees/customers safe.
  • Review rehire/reinstate provisions for your benefit policies (eligibility/waiting periods).
  • Distribute all new or revised policies to all employees.

Health and Safety

  • Explain company policies and procedures related to illness, cleaning and disinfecting, and work
    meetings and travel.
  • Educate employees on how to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at home and at work (follow Centers
    for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations).
  • For employees returning to a worksite, make sure they understand what’s expected of them in
    the workplace. For example, must they wear face masks or face coverings? Will protective items
    and hand sanitizer be provided? Are workplace hours different? Will you be taking employees’
    temperatures each day when they arrive? Is teleworking or staggered shift work allowed/
  • Ensure that all employees who are currently ill or have contact with an ill family member stay home
    (follow CDC recommendations for length of time).
  • If an employee becomes sick at work, send them home.
  • Promote safe social distancing in the workplace by encouraging employees to:
    • Remain at least 6 feet away from each other.
    • Email, message, call, or video call rather than meeting face to face.
    • Clean computer equipment, desktops, phones, and workstations often.
  • Provide hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, and face masks or face coverings (where appropriate/
    necessary) and no-touch disposal receptacles.
  • Discourage handshaking.
  • Place posters throughout the business to encourage social distancing and hand hygiene.

Best Practices

  • Be aware of any local public health or other orders related to COVID-19 that may affect your business.
  • Ensure your workplace cleaning company is up to date on current methods of safely removing
    COVID-19 hazards.
  • Communicate frequently and as transparently as possible with employees:
    • Provide expected timelines for recalling/rehiring employees.
    • Provide returning employees with recall or offer letters.
  • Train managers on dealing with employees that may face increased personal challenges during this
    time, such as bereavement and loss, childcare and school-cancellation challenges, financial stress,
    and other dependent care and support needs.
  • Offer flexibility wherever possible and adjust workloads to be reasonable.
  • Be prepared to quickly investigate and stop discriminatory speech or acts in the workplace.
  • Consider contracting with an employee assistance program (EAP) if you do not currently have one.
  • Designate a workplace coordinator who will be responsible for COVID-19 issues and their impact at
    the workplace.
  • Develop a plan to operate if absenteeism spikes or if another shelter-in-place or stay at home order
    occurs in the future:

    • Implement a plan to continue essential business functions.
    • Implement flexible work schedules and leave policies.
  • Cross-train employees on performing essential business functions.
  • Develop emergency communications plans, including a way to answer workers’ concerns.
  • Communicate your appreciation and welcome employees back to work.

If you need additional guidance or have any questions you can get in touch with us here. We are here to help.

This material is offered for general information only. It does not provide, nor is it intended to provide, tax or legal advice.