Claudia Jonath


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Mounira Freih


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Julie Filliard


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Claudia Jonath


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Mounira Freih


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Julie Filliard


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9. März 2020

Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 - Recommendations for HR departments


The coronavirus SARS CoV-2 continues to spread in France, Europe, Asia and America. The fight against the virus has become a global task. Prudence and reasonableness in reactions are the order of the day.

Risk identification, prevention and action are three important keywords for the human resources department.

Is your company/is your HR department prepared? With the following checklist you may identify the first need for action:

Part 1: Risk identification / determining the status quo

Is there an up-to-date risk assessment that is also adapted to the crisis? 

  • Is there an emergency plan and, if necessary, emergency drills?
  • Who in the company has business contact with risk groups? What is the "chain of contact"? Can this chain be interrupted?
  • Which areas of the company are particularly critical for ensuring ongoing operations?
  • Which of your company's infrastructure/services/products are particularly at risk if personnel are absent?
  • Which key employees are indispensable for the company to remain capable of acting?
  • What substitution possibilities and deputy regulations are in place in the event that employees are absent? (Who can do what? Who may do what?)
  • Is it possible to work remotely and have the necessary precautions been taken?

Is there a legal basis for instructing employees to work at home (home office)?

  • Works agreement
  • Employment agreement
  • Individual agreement  

Is the practical implementation guaranteed?

  • Equipping the employees with IT equipment (laptop, mobile phone)
  • Access to operating systems of the company guaranteed?
  • Availability of employees without official IT equipment (private e-mail addresses and mobile phone numbers known?)
  • Guaranteed external accessibility for customers, contract partners, etc.

Part 2: General prevention

  • Are the employees sufficiently informed and instructed on the basis of the risk assessment? 
  • Is there an internal reporting office where employees can report potential risks (recent private vacation in high risk areas, contact with suspected cases, symptoms)?
  • Are disinfectants available to all employees?
  • Are hygiene rules in place?
  • Are there rules of conduct (e.g. in dealing with customer traffic)?
  • Who monitors compliance with the existing rules?
  • Have health and safety measures been sufficiently and effectively delegated?
  • Is there sufficient insurance cover for operational failures?

Part 3: Action

  • Is there a management decision to implement emergency measures immediately?
  • Is there a fixed, escalation-level communication plan?
  • Has the responsible health authority been identified? Duty to report!!
  • Is a quick test of all endangered employees ensured? 
  • Is there a crisis team that can react in case of quarantine measures or disease reports?
  • Is the accessibility of key employees guaranteed?
  • Does a press release exist?
  • Is a (partial or complete) plant closure possible?
  • What is the maximum period of rest for the company? ("war chest")
  • Are the legal and factual preconditions for applying for short-time work compensation fulfilled.

We are happy to answer any questions you may have on all the above points. Our expert task force Claudia Jonath, 
Markus Asshoff Mounira Freih, Tiphaine Puzin and Julie Filliard will answer your questions and support you in the 
concrete implementation.

Coronavirus hotline: + 33 1 72 74 03 49 / + 33 1 72 74 03 23



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