If you had to lay off or furlough staff during COVID-19, you’re not alone. Many companies were forced to make this difficult decision during the tough financial times. Now, as government restrictions loosen, and you start to plan your reopening strategy, how do you hire and bring employees back?
Why Rehiring Might be Challenging
As you start to look at rehiring staff, the process can be more difficult than you thought at first, given that unemployment is relatively high. For example, some members of your team may worry that returning to the workplace will put their health and safety at risk.
As well, there are many administrative tasks to consider when rehiring, including updating paperwork or redoing it, depending on the situation. These things can slow down the process of resuming a regular business schedule.
Also, not all employees who you invite back will want to return to their pre-pandemic jobs, whether it is because they have gained employment elsewhere or for another reason. For those who you do want to recall, send them formal offer letters and ask a lawyer to review them before sending out to ensure they meet regulations.
Attend to the Necessary Paperwork
Depending on how you left things with the employee, whether they were fired or laid off, different paperwork will need processing by your HR team. It must be done all over again or the existing document updated.
The paperwork to fill out will also depend on whether you are in the US, Canada, or another country. Also, confirm with each employee that you are looking to rehire that their account details are still the same before their first payday.
For a layoff situation, when you are rehiring the employee, essentially you are starting a new employment relationship. That means that re-signing confidentiality agreements might be necessary, along with other contracts, such as a non-compete.
Also, provide rehired employees with onboarding documents that include details about or links to your updated policies about health and safety, as well as other measures relating to COVID-19. Provide any onboarding documents required by law where you conduct business operations too. Easily communicate these details using Talcura’s automated software.
Determine Whether to Change Benefits Packages
The return-to-work process may differ for certain employees if some of them continue in remote roles, come to the office only a few days a week, or they become non-exempt. These changes can have you rethinking compensation and benefits plans.
What about their accrued vacation and paid time off when they were furloughed or laid off? Will those who you rehire start back with that accumulated time or not?
These are questions for you to answer, based on laws for rehired workers as well as your organization’s existing policies and any new ones you create moving forward. You might decide to change wages and bonuses too, as well as commissions, if applicable.
Rehiring Staff in the Post-COVID-19 Environment
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of considerations involved in rehiring workers who were laid off or furloughed during the pandemic. However, many positive opportunities await you and your business as you begin to rebuild your workforce and resume normal operations.