Collector - August 2020 - 11

BESTPRACTICES

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for someone they can talk to if they are more
comfortable asking questions one-on-one.
This is another opportunity to remind
employees there are confidentiality
requirements and priorities for employers
that come with every personnel policy.
"All employees also need to understand
the expectation to comply with a
communicable disease and return to work
policy," Griffiths said.
The two policies will likely go together,
especially with industries required to work
remotely when possible. The accounts
receivable management (ARM) industry is also
dealing with some modified state and federal
licensing guidelines for telework, which should
be reflected in your return-to-work plan.

BACK IN THE OFFICE
Some offices in the ARM industry may
be open now at limited capacity or have
an idea when they can open certain
components of their business; either way,
there are helpful protocols to bring your
team back on board.
Many states are mandating a written,
documented return-to-work preparedness
plan, and Moe said it's about balancing
regulators' requirements and making the
plan workable for your office.
"We need to distinguish between
getting back to work and getting back to
the workplace," Moe said. "For example,
how many folks need to get back into the

COLLECTOR 08.20

physical workplace to be effective? That is
the sort of thing that members are going to
need to be strategic about."
Make sure sick workers stay home.
Consider establishing health screening
protocols for employees at the start of each
shift, such as taking temperatures or issuing
a health screening survey.
"What I am seeing in most places is
employers adopting rather straightforward
expectations," Griffiths said. However, he
added that management should consider
implementing return to work and telework
procedures that can be modified over time.
"Working from home in the ARM
industry could be a long-term result
of the pandemic," Griffiths said.
"Employers really need to give significant
consideration to that."
Companies can also expect that employees
will have anxiety about returning to work.
Communication about your office's plans and
policies for a safe workplace-especially well
in advance-will help alleviate those fears.
Topics to consider in your office's plan
include controls for social distancing, such as
creating higher walls or partitions between
workspaces or even developing a traffic plan
for the building to limit unnecessary contact
between employees.
It's also important to establish steps to
take when an employee displays symptoms
of COVID-19 while they're at work that
protect their privacy but also allow for

The Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention has tips to
prepare your small business
for the impacts of COVID-19
(https://bit.ly/3guDhbL), as well
as training, guidance, and best
practices for social distancing,
handwashing and housekeeping
(https://www.cdc.gov/
coronavirus/2019-nCoV/).
some sort of limited notice to others in the
building who may have come in contact with
the symptomatic employee and need the
information for their health and safety.
It will be a balancing act to consider what
your company needs to do to help employees
feel safe and meet state and federal
requirements that apply to your business.
"What I try to do is take a practical
approach to it," Moe said. "Make sure you're
crafting a plan that meets regulations but is
easy to manage."
While uncertainty, especially for the ARM
industry, will likely linger over time and leave
employers unsure of how to proceed, just
remember your company likely has a policy to
build from and you can always start small and
grow from there to address regulations and
any employee concerns along the way.
Katy Zillmer is ACA International's
communications specialist.

11


https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-small-business.html https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/ https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/

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