In light of the growing risk of the spreading of the COVID-19 virus, the ABBL issues the present guidelines to hinder the spreading of the virus and support ABBL members in their respective business continuity planning.
Institutions are strongly encouraged to review and implement their business continuity plan to minimise disruption to their operations, and to ensure that business remains viable in the event of a potential virus outbreak.
Standard recommendations to prevent the spread of infection include:
- regular hand washing
- covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing
- avoiding close contact with anyone with symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing and sneezing
- use of alcohol-based solutions and gels for hand sanitisation
It is important to remember that employers have a legal obligation to safeguard the health and safety of their employees. In order to fulfil this obligation, and avoid potential liabilities, banks will have to adapt their way of working if necessary.
At the moment (note that this is a developing situation, and this information may change) employees who are in quarantine, i.e. they exhibit symptoms and have a certificate from the health authorities (Division de l’Inspection sanitaire), will be covered by the CNS.
Employees who are under self-imposed quarantine, at the request of their employer because they may have been exposed to the virus, are not considered to be on sickness leave. These employees are to be treated as working from home, and in cases where this is not possible, they are on special leave.
Non-certified leave should NOT be deducted from annual holiday leave.
We recommend the following precautionary measures:
- Restrict travel to affected areas of countries (latest list of affected countries can be found here)
- Use teleconferencing, phone calls, video conferencing, email etc. where possible
- Remind people who do have to travel to take the recommended health precautions
- Remind your employees of the risks of such travel, and have them inform HR or their manager if they have to travel to one of the affected areas
Provide clear instructions to your employees of what they should do if they have been in an affected area for either business or leisure travel.
In the workplace
- Provide hand sanitisation products
- Ensure general health recommendations are clearly communicated
- Extend the use of remote/distance working
- Adopt flexible working schedules/shifts
Institutions may also consider postponing or rearranging events in order to reduce the risk posed by mass gatherings.
In any case, institutions should be prepared to deploy means allowing business continuity in the event of a virus outbreak.
This is a situation which is constantly evolving. We will update this page regularly (last updated 27 February).