The Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Families, Chakir el Homrani. Photo: ACN

The Generalitat, the employers’ unions and the unions have agreed on a series of recommendations for companies and working people who are resuming their activities today as a result of the lifting of the total confinement decreed by the Spanish government.

Given the complex and unprecedented situation we are in, the Department of Labor, Social Affairs and Families has sought to seek the highest consensus on social agreement. For this reason, the Labor Relations Council of Catalonia met last Sunday urgently to review the document of recommendations for companies and workers on the SARS-COV-2 coronavirus, which was agreed and published on March 9. and updated on March 21.

In addition to the members born of the Labor Relations Council of Catalonia (CCOO of Catalonia, UGT of Catalonia, Foment del Treball and PIMEC), the Extraordinary Departments of the Vice-Presidency, Economy and Finance participated in the extraordinary meeting; Health, Territory and Sustainability; Company and Knowledge, and Interior, as well as Work, Social Affairs and Families, who is the coordinator of the body.

Thus, a broad agreement was reached, which is governed by the Government, to give a series of recommendations to companies and workers in Catalonia in the new situation we face from today, taking into account that in this In the field, consensus and agreement are very important because the Generalitat does not have the powers to legislate.

Among other recommendations, the document (which you can check here) states that all provisions and resolutions must be complied with, and taking into account the directions of the health and labor authorities established to restrict mobility and encourage confinement home, while fostering, where possible, teleworking and distance work.

Measures prior to resuming the activity

The document states that it is necessary to foresee and plan how the current situation can affect the company and the production process, in order to identify the essential processes for the operation of the company and determine what the minimum face-to-face team of workers will be .

The preventive organization must evaluate the risk of SARS-CoV2 infection in the company and establish additional protocols and procedures to control the risk of contagion, planning the measures to be implemented and modifying, if necessary, the working procedures necessary, to carry out the resumption of the activity in safe conditions.

It is imperative that each company draw up a general health and safety contingency plan or protocol, which must be agreed between the company and the workers’ representatives.

The need for personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, etc.) and / or collective protection measures is mandatory for use in work centers for those activities where they are necessary. In the same way, the use of respiratory protection equipment and other types of surgical and / or hygienic masks will be mandatory incorporated in accordance with the risk assessment of the jobs, indications of the prevention services or following the recommendations of the health authority.

In addition, while maintaining the social separation recommendations, some recommendations are included, such as: establishing and maintaining telecommuting and remote work systems where possible, simplifying schedules, and reducing the length of stay in the workplace to the minimum possible, and to establish special schedules and shifts to reduce the number of workers present at the same time.

Measures to be applied in common areas and other work areas

Measures to be taken in the common areas include, but are not limited to, differentiated entry and exit areas to prevent crowding and ensure safe distances, establishing turn-based inputs and flexible scheduling , encourage the use of stairs instead of the lift or limit the use of the dining room whenever possible and provide for stepwise use of common areas.

Other measures related to work areas are to ensure the proper ventilation of the premises and avoid meetings in person, favoring video conferencing or other non-attendance systems.

In premises with access to the public, measures will be taken to guarantee the security distance or to install separation elements both between the workers and the clientele.

Hygienic and disinfection measures

To prevent coronavirus spread and contagion, hygienic measures such as ensuring availability and easy access to soap and water and / or disinfectant hand-washing solutions, distributed by the company, will be required.

It is also recommended to clean and disinfect the work spaces on a regular basis, especially of the surfaces that touch the hands such as handles, push buttons, keyboards, tables, counters, tools, handrails on stairs, etc. as well as common areas.

Measures of business coordination

All measures taken to prevent coronavirus contagion should be extended to other workers accessing the work center (suppliers, subcontractors, service or service companies or freelancers), and in the same way, own employees are protected when they move to work in other work centers of other companies or clients.

Mobility measures

Among other measures, it is recommended to flex the check-in and check-out times to avoid rush hours on public transport and to avoid crowds; reduce the number of journeys through organizational measures and flexibility to reduce the number of days that a physical presence is required at the work center, or value by the company facilitating collective private transport to workers, always limiting the occupancy to 1/3 and maintaining a distance of 1.5 meters.

Measures of business flexibility

Finally, the paper recommends the use of information and communication technologies, telecommuting (e-work) and distance learning (locational flexibility). Other measures of internal flexibility (in an agreed, temporary and balanced way), such as production adjustments, time stock exchanges or possible adaptations to the working calendar, are proposed.

The document also reminds that the closure of educational centers and day centers, among other public and private establishments, must be taken into account. Accordingly, measures should be put in place so that workers can absent themselves from the job when they need to take care of their careers, without being adversely affected in the workplace.

The Labor Relations Council’s recommendation document also includes specific measures for certain groups, such as health care, social health care, social residences and home care.

For more information, you can consult 012 or on the web work.gencat.cat.

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