BPO sector to introduce measures to protect employees from COVID-19

BPO sector to introduce measures to protect employees from COVID-19

Monday, March 23, 2020

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The global services and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies are putting in place measures to protect their employees in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At a meeting on Thursday involving sector players, and representative of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, a number of measures were decided on.

These include a decision that effective immediately BPO companies will allow no more than 20 people in a break room at any given time.

To ensure there is social distancing, each employee within a BPO centre is to be six feet away from each other.

In addition periodically, fresh air will be allowed into the spaces. Buses transporting employees will also be encouraged to have their air conditioning turned off and the windows opened, and operators are being asked to sanitise after each trip.

Regular hand washing will be mandated and facilitated. Where possible, hand washing stations are being placed outdoors to allow employees to wash their hands before they enter the facility.

The sector players have decided that employees will be allowed to sanitise their devices and personal work space to supplement general cleaning.

They have also agreed to identify, and equip an isolation room and immediately place persons in the isolation area if someone begins to display symptoms of COVID-19.

The sector players were urged, by the health ministry, to have a plan in place should a large number of their staff become sick while employees are being encouraged to stay home if they are sick.

Since the declaration of the global pandemic by the World Health Organization, members of the BPO sector say they have been working steadfastly to implement business continuity strategies for the sector and at the same time ensuring that they protect the health and well-being of their greatest assets — their employees.

“The sector players will continue to implement large scale, company wide education on healthy and hygienic practices such as sanitising and self-protection.

“They will continue to place posters at visible points within the centres. The sector will also continue to monitor the developments closely and keep further strategic options open so that operational impact is as minimal as possible,” said Gloria Henry, president of the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica

“The global services and BPO sector is an essential sector, not just for the economic contribution to the countries in which they operate, but for the support services that they provide for critical areas such as health care, telecommunications and national security, among others,” added Henry.

More than 30,000 people are employed in the global servicing and BPO sector across the island.

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