As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the question we’re getting asked most is “how can we keep our employees safe when they come back to work?” We’ve put together a checklist breaking down a number of things that you can do right now as well as going forward, but we’d also like to share a list of six things that credit unions can do immediately to make your workplace a safer place for employees in the short term. Replace the filters in your HVAC system You may be six feet away from your desk mate, but in a building with poorly-filtered recirculated air, you are just as likely to be infected by someone in a different room as the person sitting next to you. Luckily, there are a number of readily available filters for HVAC systems that are able to remove most virus particles from circulation. We recommend using filters rated MERV 13. Add signage and visual cues to reinforce social distancing policies We’re still adjusting to social distancing protocols and it can be difficult to carry the behaviors that we’ve learned for safely navigating our neighborhoods and grocery stores into the working environment. Adding signage, floor stickers, and visible guidelines to show your employees how to move around the office can help them stay safe. Remove at least half of the seats from common areas Reducing density is critical to reducing the transmission of this disease. Removing furniture from shared areas such as lobbies and meeting rooms will provide a visual and physical reinforcement of your social distancing policies, not only reducing the usage of your common areas but prompting staff to reconsider whether their next meeting could be an email or videoconferencing session instead. Consider reconfiguring these areas to support a few dedicated workstations to reduce density elsewhere. Promote email and videoconferencing in place of in-person meetings There are many advantages to meeting in-person, but in the current time those advantages do not outweigh the risk of getting sick. Upgrade online meeting platforms to support unlimited communication between your employees and make it clear that email and videoconferencing should be strongly considered before scheduling an in-person meeting. Provide cleaning supplies for employees Common areas can spread the transmission of COVID-19, but they are generally only cleaned at night by janitorial staff. Protect your employees by providing them with cleaning supplies, particularly disinfecting wipes, that they can use to wipe down the common areas that they use throughout the day. Build more robust work-from-home policies and stagger shifts The safest thing employees can do right now is stay home, but we also recognize that some work must be done in the office. The thing you can do most to help these employees is to ensure that those who can work from home do so to reduce the number of people in the office. Consider staggering shifts so that workers coming into the office to perform tasks can do so at different times or on different days.We believe that credit unions are resilient and will come out of this pandemic even stronger than they went in, and we applaud the efforts that all of you have made to flatten the curve and get us through this as quickly as possible. And if you’d like the read the full checklist, it’s available for download without signup or registration on our website. 17SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jay Speidell Jay Speidell is the Marketing Manager at Momentum, a strategic design-build partner that takes a people centric approach to helping credit unions across the nation thrive. Web: www.momentumbuilds.com Details
He said this would depend on pension funds’ future choices, such as their pensions target and the desired level of risk.“Smaller financial buffers would create more potential for better investment results, but would also increase risks,” the CEO said. Van Olphen indicated that APG’s preparations for the introduction of a new pensions system included a focus on simplification of pension arrangements.“During the past 40 years, collective labour agreements and transitional measures have created an accumulation of well-meant schemes and exceptions, which have caused complexity, costs and risks,” he said.“Together with our pension fund clients, we are now trying to push back the multitude of arrangements.”APG carries out the pensions administration for nine pension funds in total, including the €403bn civil service scheme ABP.In October, ABP agreed with workers and employers at the Ministry of Defence that it would replace the final salary scheme for defence workers with pension benefits linked to employees’ average salary, from 2019. Pension funds’ returns could suffer if, in a new Dutch pensions system, their financial buffers were not allowed to temporarily turn negative during times of economic stress, Gerard van Olphen, chief executive of the €453bn asset manager APG, has warned.The Dutch government has said that pension funds’ financial buffers must remain positive at all times as part of a new system currently being negotiated. APG’s CEO said this meant schemes would have to implement rights discounts earlier.“The risk would be that pension funds would want to increase their focus on certainty, which would limit their investment options,” he said.In an interview in IPE’s Dutch sister publication Pensioen Pro, Van Olphen said that a new pensions system with less concrete promises and less fixation on schemes’ funding ratios would in principle offer more freedom for investment, as well as potential for improved returns.