Precautionary Measures in line with DORSCON Orange

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Dear Subscriber, 
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In view of Ministry of Health (MOH) raising its risk assessment of the Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV from DORSCON Yellow to DORSCON Orange on 7 February 2020, employers are advised to adopt the following appropriate workplace measures as guidance to continue running their operations while minimising risks of community spread of the 2019-nCoV:

Business Continuity Plans and Managing Operations
  • Employers should step up their Business Continuity Plans (BCPs), and prepare for widespread community transmission. Employers which have not developed BCPs may wish to refer to the Guide on Business Continuity Planning for 2019 novel coronavirus to develop their BCPs as soon as possible.
 
  • Specifically, employers may wish to consider the following in their BCPs:
  1. Frontline staff - For employers who manage frontline staff, they may wish to consider split team arrangements under their BCPs to ensure continuity of services.
  2. Backend staff - Employers are encouraged to allow backend staff to work from home where feasible. Employers can also consider split teams where some backend staff would work from the office while others work from home to minimise interaction. Employers may wish to procure the necessary equipment and review their work processes to facilitate employees to utilise flexible work arrangements.
  3. Temperature screening - Depending on the nature of business and environment, employers may consider measures in their BCPs to control and log access of visitors/customers to their workplaces, with temperature screening where necessary. In general, frontline staff who do temperature screening for visitors/customers should don masks. BCPs should give guidance to frontline staff to ask the customers who are unwell to reschedule their appointments and return another day when they are well.
 
Cancel or Defer Non-Essential Large-Scale Events
 
  • As advised by MOH, employers are advised to cancel or defer non-essential large-scale events. Those who choose to proceed should take additional precautions:
  1. Carry out temperature screening;
  2. Look out for respiratory symptoms such as cough or runny nose, and deny entry to unwell individuals;
  3. Remind participants not to attend if they have recent travel history to mainland China or are under leave of absence, and require travel declaration, if possible;
  4. Ensure that event venues are ventilated and are adequately equipped with facilities for hand washing;
  5. Increase the frequency of cleaning of commonly used areas; and
  6. Maintain a registration list of participants, if practical.

Taking Care of Employees:

Employers are urged to take the following measures to safeguard the well-being of their employees:
  • Personal health and hygiene - 
  1. Employers should also ensure employees conduct regular temperature taking and check whether they have symptoms such as cough and runny nose.
  2. Temperature checks should also be done twice daily, and anyone with a fever or is unwell should leave the office immediately to see a doctor.
  3. All workplaces should also step up their business continuity plans, and prepare for a widespread community transmission. These plans may include allowing employees to telecommute or dividing the workforce into segregated teams.

  • Vulnerable employees - Employers should pay special attention to older employees, pregnant employees and employees who have underlying medical conditions in planning their operations or work schedules. Where operationally feasible, employers should reduce exposure of such employees to frontline work.

  • Employees with caregiving needs - Employers are urged to be supportive of their employees’ needs during this period if an employee needs to stay at home for non-work related reasons relating to the 2019-nCoV situation, e.g. caregiving needs for family members or for children should schools or childcare facilities close. In such situations, employers are encouraged to adopt flexible work arrangements to allow the employee to work from home. If working from home is not possible, employers can consider the following options, or a combination of the options, for the employees:
  1. Allow employees to use their leave entitlements such as hospitalisation leave, outpatient sick leave, annual leave, childcare/ family care leave;
  2. For employees who have used up their leave entitlements, be flexible in granting paid time-off or allow them to use advanced paid leave or no-pay leave; or
  3. Other mutually agreed arrangements between the employers and employees / unions.

  • Leave of Absence (LOA) - For employees who are required to be under LOA, employers must ensure that employees stay away from the workplace, but employers may allow employees to work from home. If working from home is not possible, employers should provide additional paid leave for the LOA period. If this is not feasible, employers can consider the options in the previous paragraph above. 

  • Quarantined employees - Employees who are served a Home Quarantine Order will be deemed to be on paid hospitalisation leave for the duration of the Order.

  • Employers and employees may wish to refer to MOH and MOM websites for more information on how employees could manage their essential needs (e.g. food and other personal matters) during quarantine or LOA, as well as the Quarantine Order Allowance Scheme and other business support schemes.

  • Overall, MOM urges employers to be flexible and supportive of their employees’ needs during this period. Employees are urged to cooperate with their employers in executing the BCPs. Both employers and employees are strongly encouraged to take precautionary steps according to advisories issued by MOM and MOH.

SHRI has implemented the following measures for our staff and students:
  1. Twice daily temperature taking (Morning and After Lunch) for all staff
  2. Travel declaration for all visitors and temperature taking. For all visitors to the office, it is compulsory that their temperature / travel declaration be taken. This will be done outside at the reception area.
  3. Daily disinfectant and cleaning for all classrooms, reception areas, door handles etc.
  4. SHRI has internally put in place a BCP and SHRI Academy has adopted necessary travel declarations and temperature taking of all attendees.

For further queries, please contact:
  1. Ministry of Manpower MOM Contact Centre, Tel: (65) 6438 5122 | Online Enquiry via this link: www.mom.gov.sg/feedback | Website: www.mom.gov.sg
  2. Ministry of Health MOH General Hotline, Tel: (65) 6325 9220 | Online Enquiry via this link: www.crms.moh.gov.sg/modfeedback.aspx |  Website: www.moh.gov.sg

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