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FAQ for Employers during COVID-19

Updated: March 31, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to rapidly evolve, Procom will release updates on this FAQ page to ensure we are providing you with the most current and up to date information. 

> How is Procom prepared to handle my staffing and/or contingent workforce management needs during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The global COVID-19 pandemic has presented a truly unprecedented situation that is affecting all our families, our communities and our businesses, and we understand your concerns about hiring and managing talent right now. 

Starting in late February and continuing into March, we began to implement aspects of Procom’s business continuity plan to ensure reliability of our operations and services. 

This transition is now complete. We are operating at 100% effectiveness in all services areas, including recruitment, workforce management and back office/payroll. 

Through this time, Procom has also been actively engaged with our contractor workforce, to support them through the transition and provide specific COVID-19 guidance based on practices promoted by the applicable government organizations and/or health authorities. 

> What added measures has Procom implemented in its operations model to ensure there are no disruptions to current or future assignments?

In response to the pandemic, we have updated aspects of our operational model to include a health risk and protective equipment assessment as part of ensuring a contractor is ready to start work at a Client site. We have also initiated a ‘ready for remote work’ connectivity and security check for individuals who will be operating off site from a Client location. 

We remain stringent in following the guidance from health authorities in both Canada and the United States, as such Procom is trained and prepared to thoroughly screen candidates to ensure your organization and staff is protected while engaging the qualified talent you need. 

Our 100% remote work configuration also ensures there are zero disruptions to your staffing or contingent workforce management needs.

> How is Procom screening candidates for COVID-19 before sending them to work for my organization?

Procom is currently vetting all candidates in accordance with health authority guidelines in both Canada and the United States before they are cleared to work for your organization. Before candidates are offered an assignment, they must undergo a thorough vetting process – with zero exceptions. Screening factors include: 

  • Symptoms such as, fever, sore throat, coughing, shortness of breath and/or difficulty breathing, vomiting, severe headaches, diarrhea and ear pain.
  • Exposure to a known contact who has also been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Recent or future travel plans with emphasis on at-risk locations.

> What steps is Procom taking to prevent exposure to its employees and candidates?

First and foremost, we are all in this together. With the pandemic changing rapidly, we are focused on staying in sync with the evolving risk environment, ensuring we are following effective practices to keep our teams and workplaces safe, and to ensure that our operations remain capable. 

  • All Procom branches have been closed, and 100% of staff has been set up to work remotely until further notice – to keep our workplaces safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • We have transitioned all non-essential in person meetings or interviews to virtual meeting channels – for social distancing.
  • Procom staff are required to disclose any recent travel (both domestic and international), and we have implemented post trip safety measures for anyone who is recognized for this now high risk activity. 
  • We have implemented a minimum fourteen day self-isolation has been mandated for all staff and candidates that have recently travelled, shown symptoms of any illness or have been exposed to someone who could have been exposed to COVID-19 – for social distancing.
  • Candidates are vetted as part of our recruitment process for COVID-19 symptoms or risk factors. If risk factors are identified, we work with individuals to develop a safe approach to work.
  • Procom employees are strictly held to follow health authority guidelines in Canada and the United States.

> Will Procom be providing recommended best practices for flattening the curve of COVID-19 to its clients?

While Procom is strictly committed to abiding by health authority guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we believe governments and health authorities such as these are best positioned to determine the best course of action to take during the COVID-19 pandemic to mitigate the spread. 

If your organization would like more information on best practices we are following, please visit:  
 
World Health Organization (WHO) 

Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) 

Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)  

Unites States Government COVID-19 response 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):  

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) 

If you have any questions about Procom’s measures and best practices we are following, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.

> Can I ask a Procom placed contractor to work from home if I believe he or she has been exposed to COVID-19 or is showing symptoms?

We understand that in the current situation, you may be required to request that full-time employees and contingent workers work from home. 

If you would like to request that a Procom placed contractor work from home, please contact your Procom Account Manager. 

We will ensure the matter is addressed in a manner compliant with any prevailing legislation and the proper protocols are in place for a smooth transition.

> How will Procom protect a contingent worker who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and, as a result, cannot work?

In Canada, if a worker cannot work because he/she or someone in their home contracts COVID-19, that worker will be entitled to an unpaid job protected leave of absence under applicable provincial and federal employment standards legislation (e.g., statutory sick leave, medical leave, family care/responsibility leave). 

In the event that the worker requests to take a certain unpaid leave of absence (and he or she meets the requirements of that leave), employers must grant the unpaid leave of absence, and the worker cannot be terminated or laid off while he or she is on that leave of absence.  

Entitlements depend on prevailing provincial and federal employment, and potentially your sick leave policies. In this scenario, it is best to contact your Procom Account Manager for clarification and help during the process. 

In the United States, The U.S. Department of Labor’s Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. 

The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division administers and enforces the new law's paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. 

Generally, If you work for the government or for a company with fewer than 500 employees,: 

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee's regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to federal, state, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or 
  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee's regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to federal, state, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the secretaries of the Treasury and Labor. 

A covered employer must provide to employees that it has employed for at least 30 days: 

  • Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.

> What if I run a US based non-government organization or one with under 500 employees?

The paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA apply to certain public employers, and private employers with fewer than 500 employees. 

Most employees of the federal government are covered by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act, which was not amended by this act, and are therefore not covered by the expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA. 

However, federal employees covered by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act are covered by the paid sick leave provision.  

Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption from the requirement to provide leave due to school closings or childcare unavailability if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern. 

If you are still unsure of your options, contact your Procom Account Manager, who will help you determine the best course of action. 

> What resources are available to me to maintain my contingent workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Procom can help you with workforce continuity strategies through the pandemic period. For most professional workers, this could involve a transition to a remote work configuration, but could also involve onsite work with effective health and safety measures in place for individuals in essential positions. 

For any questions or guidance on how Procom will continue to deliver the critical staffing and contingent workforce management services you need, please contact your Procom Account Manager.