Keep posted, keep informed.
Do your Employment Practices Insurance clients have questions about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the employment landscape? Although some core factors of employment practices liability may have remained the same since the start of the pandemic, COVID has also altered several key aspects of employment, from the shift to remote work to the required implementation of boosted safety measures and more. Since your clients are interested in getting insurance to protect their companies, it’s important to help keep them up to speed with these new practice changes as well. Here are some of the main ways COVID has changed the employment game in recent months.
Some Companies May Abandon Brick-and-Mortar Locations in Favor of Permanent Remote Work
Perhaps one of the biggest shifts caused by the pandemic is the widespread transition to remote work. Whereas prior to the pandemic, remote work was seen as either a luxury or a job perk, today, many workers expect to be given the option, which has become particularly popular not only for its health practicality but for its convenience as well. This new employee expectation may eventually result in some companies abandoning brick-and-mortar locations in favor of a permanently remote workforce.
In-Person Work Will Require New Safety Measures and More Flexibility
In situations where employers do stick to in-person work rather than full-time remote work, the return to the office will require a heavy dose of extra safety measures and more flexibility on the part of the employer. Some measures employers may have to implement include:
- Distanced desks or separated cubicles
- Stricter cleaning and sanitizing procedures
- More frequent janitorial visits
- More flexibility in work schedules and work hours, including potential hybrid options for a blend of in-person and remote work
- More extensive insurance coverage to account for the possibility of workers falling ill and/or the company covering paid sick leave
Corporate Culture and Work Expectations May Shift
Lastly, it’s important to mention that changes to hygiene and work type are not the only impacts the pandemic has had on employment. Some changes are less tangible and involve shifts in corporate culture. Since the pandemic forced sudden changes in expectations, the culture around work and employment requirements may not go back to what it was before. In particular, the future of work could involve:
- Less emphasis on hours spent at the office and more emphasis on completing tasks by a given deadline
- Less pressure to conform to office culture
- More options for nontraditional workers who prefer or require flexible work arrangements
While some fundamental aspects of Employment Practices Insurance coverage have remained the same since the start of the pandemic, it’s undeniable that COVID has had an impact on the overall employment landscape. Your insurance clients may find it helpful to walk through these changes and prepare for potential future ramifications.
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