How HR Can Prepare for the New Omicron Variant
With the holiday season approaching and Omicron variant cases rising, the Biden administration announced its newest pandemic strategy last week. Though the strategy looks similar to the one laid out to fight the Delta variant, it’s always important for employers to stay up-to-date. Here’s what’s new and how you can prepare.
Biden Announces New Pandemic Strategy in Response to Omicron Variant
On top of continued encouragement of social distancing and mask-wearing, here are a few of the steps Biden announced to protect against the spread of Omicron during the winter season:
- Effective as of December 6th, international passengers entering the U.S. will need to show a negative test result taken within one day of their departure. Vaccinated travelers will be held to the same standard.
- Starting in January, private health insurers are required to reimburse the cost of over-the-counter and at-home tests.
How BerniePortal Can Help HR Prepare for the New Omicron Variant
With new variants surfacing that create a lot of uncertainty, BerniePortal is here to provide stability in the workplace. Here’s how you can use BerniePortal to manage employee communications and stay compliant with pandemic mandates:
- Increase Communication. When a change happens that is going to affect employees, especially regarding company policies, be sure to communicate these clearly. BerniePortal’s Compliance feature allows employers to update company documents and require proof of viewing through signatures from each employee, helping you manage your communication efforts. If an employee were to test positive for COVID-19, be clear how this will be communicated with fellow employees as well. Communication with employees is vital to avoiding any confusion around the new variant and the workplace.
- Stay Compliant. While OSHA’s vaccine mandate is still tied up in court, it’s important for leaders to put their heads together and decide how your company is going to handle COVID-19 during the holiday season. If your company is going to require vaccines and/or regular testing to work in office, be sure to write out a clear policy that you upload to your compliance documents in BerniePortal.
- Manage PTO. It’s no secret that PTO ramps up during the holiday season and now may be a good time to revisit your company time-off policy. BerniePortal’s PTO feature makes it easy for employees to submit their time-off requests and for admins to approve requests accordingly.
- Check on Employees. It’s no secret that the last year has been filled with constant change for employers and employees. Keeping a pulse on employee satisfaction has been directly tied with retention rates, proving more important than ever in the current job market. BerniePortal’s Performance Management feature encourages checking in with employees during 1:1 meetings with managers and company-wide surveys.
You can stay informed, educated, and up-to-date with important HR topics using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:
- BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop-shop for HR industry news
- HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance
- HR Guides—essential pillars, covering an extensive list of comprehensive HR topics
- BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit
- HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics
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