COVID-19 Resources

Navigating COVID-19 Containment Together

These are challenging times for businesses across the globe. The good news is companies are getting creative by taking an agile approach to meeting their strategic goals while caring for the people who help them get work done.

We’ve built an evolving repository of FAQs and insights – ranging from industry trends, mobility planning, and supply chain strategies, to business continuity as it relates to recruitment and talent market opportunities – all designed to help your company overcome this worldwide emergency.

If you’re a current customer who needs further guidance or a company seeking support, please reach out. We’re in this together, and we’re here to help you, your business, and your people thrive.

Page last updated on September 28 at 10:44 a.m. EDT

Return to the Workplace

As companies prepare their people and their facilities for the eventual return to the workplace, there’s much we can learn from essential businesses already tackling these issues, as well as parts of the world that have progressed further through the pandemic. There may not be a magical playbook for instituting a return to the workplace strategy, but this article series shares best practices ranging from getting physical spaces ready to maintain social distancing and sanitation practices, to preparing people and policies about temperature checks, working parents, any continuance of remote working, traveling, and everything in between.

Warehouse workers wearing PPE

How Does PPE Fit into Return to the Workplace Planning Efforts?

Get some guidance on what level of protective equipment employers may need to provide to workers as part of their return to the workplace strategies.

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Bringing Workers Back: Who, When, & How

Plans to reenter the workplace should balance the need to mitigate economic impacts on employers and workers against the risks of coronavirus’ resurgence.

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Facility Cleaning: Maintaining a Safe and Healthy Workplace

Before welcoming workers back to your facility, consider how changes in how you clean and disinfect the space can limit the spread of COVID-19 and alleviate workers’ anxieties about returning.

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Physical Space Modifications: Adjust the Workplace to Make Work Safe

Consider how changes to your company’s physical space could enable social distancing, reduce health risks, and promote safe workplaces.

Labor Market Reports

Marketing Insights

North America: Job Growth Continues, But Pace of Recovery Continues to Slow - NEW

While recent months have seen an initial recovery to the economic impacts of COVID-19, there is room for growth. Additionally, the short-term nature of this economic event has already been shown, but employers should be aware that historically competitive markets are not expected to transition to easy-to-source talent pools. We’re therefore pleased to share this report and provide an update on labor market conditions in the US and Canada to help companies make data-informed workforce decisions using the most recent data and analysis available.

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UK: Employment Rises for the First Time Since March - NEW

The month of July saw the first rise in UK employment numbers since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Following the increase in vacancies, this is another sign of demand for talent returning as employer confidence grows and as businesses recover. The July jobs growth is a positive sign, but there is still some way to go before a full recovery. Read our updated report for the insights your business needs for informed workforce decision-making.

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Global: Several EMEA & APAC Markets See Continued Labor Usage Declines

While a lot of research about pandemic’s labor market impacts focuses on the US, Canada, and the UK, this briefing highlights some notable trends elsewhere in the world, where data is either lagging or lacking. But by using AGS’ client data, we can see more real-time impacts across Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland.

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Australia: Report Reveals Jobs Data and Insights to Consider for Future Workforce Planning

While Australia’s jobs market is certainly feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are finding ways to adapt to the changes. Additionally, the government announced a number of measures to support businesses, employees, and job seekers. Get our report to understand local market reactions to the pandemic segmented by industries and regions, plus what our analysts think the data reveals for the future of work.

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Singapore: The Time to Adopt New Recruitment Strategies is Now

While Singapore was a country with early control of the pandemic, confirmed cases are rising, which is impacting business continuity. Read our latest in a series of labor market reports to understand pre-pandemic conditions juxtaposed against the current job market, what the government is doing to help employers and workers, and what businesses should be thinking about as they consider adjustments to their workforce strategy.

AGS Insights and Delivery

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US – Federal Aid Delivers Opportunity for the Staffing Industry

To date, Congress has enacted three pieces of relief legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic, driving four main areas of opportunity for the staffing industry.

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Three Talent Engagement Technologies for a Virtual, Changed World

Learn how companies are finding ways to take the sting out of isolation, especially when engaging with new talent.

Woman working from home

Strategic Supplier Insights into Working from Home

A recent survey finds all suppliers are highly motivated to keep workers engaged, and many are willing to provide them with laptops as a part of that effort

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Three Guides to Contingent Workforce Business Continuity

Navigate through the key scenarios and decisions your organization will face to ensure business continuity of your contingent workforce, with guides for North America, EMEA, and APAC

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Assessing Levels of Risk When Contractors Become Sick

Guidance on how to handle diagnosed COVID-19 cases with FAQs about sick pay and remote work

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Government Support – Singapore & Hong Kong

Wage support for employers is now available through two programs in Singapore and Hong Kong to help enterprises retain local employees.

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Furloughs/Job Retention Scheme – UK

Employers of furloughed contract workers can now seek up to 80% of monthly wage costs and other fees through the UK’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to pay such workers. Learn about which workers are eligible, considerations for clients, any contract changes that may be required, and how self-employed workers may also benefit.

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Immigration & Travel Restrictions – APAC

Companies and contract workers face delays that could slow the contract worker’s start date during the onboarding process. Read the latest guidance, accompanied by online resources.

 

 

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Work From Home (WFH) Arrangements – APAC 

As more people are working remotely, it brings up several questions about how best to support this adjusted way of working and align with local government guidance.

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Immigration – US Only

As a result of the pandemic, employers face changing conditions that obligate them to handle H1-B employees certain ways when furloughs, layoffs, or hour reductions occur, while simultaneously contending with processing delays in documentation and onboarding that could slow a lawfully employed noncitizen’s start date, as well as actions that temporarily halt certain immigrant visa applications all together.

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Temperature Checks – US Only

As companies work to manage workforce and workplace safety, temperature checks of workers and facilities visitors, now permissible by the EEOC, can help. But this raises questions around who can do it and how. We have answers.

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Sick Workers & Related Pay Issues

Read answers to questions around when workers are symptomatic or test positive for COVID-19.

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The Stafford Act and Qualified Disaster Relief Payments – US Only

Since COVID-19 was declared a national emergency, employers can now take advantage of an Internal Revenue Code that allows them to make tax-free payments or reimbursements to help workers cope with the pandemic.

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Workplace and Workforce – Canada

New programs, resources, and insight can help businesses in Canada address COVID-19-related workplace and workforce challenges.

 

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Right to Work Verification and Wet Signatures – EMEA

With the help of technology, candidates can provide the relevant documents needed to clear pre-employment vetting to enable timely starts.

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Drug Testing – US Only

Gain insight on temporary drug testing screening waivers for companies to maintain business continuity with onboarding their contingent labor workforce in a timely way.

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Expense Reimbursements – US Only

Individuals new to remote work may incur costs that could be reimbursable. Here, we discuss typical office and childcare expenses.

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Essential Workers Documentation – US Only

Get answers to what essential workers may need in order to document their need to be physically present on a work site.

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Layoffs & Furloughs – US Only

Many companies are re-evaluating their financial positions and their current and short-term needs for contingent labor. These FAQs address some of their options to move forward.

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Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9)

Learn which employers can review documents for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) remotely and check back for insight on drug testing screening.

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Remote Work

As more people begin to work remotely, it brings up several questions around how to best enable this shift.

 

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Workplace Preparedness

When the unexpected happens, companies need to have a plan in place, so they’re ready to respond to emerging needs. 

Government Updates

Hong Kong – $11.5b in Wage Subsidies Granted

The Hong Kong government notified successful employers of the second batch of dispersed wage subsidies under the Employment Support Scheme (September 23, 2020).

Australia – Fair Work Regulations Amended as Part of JobKeeper Extension

Australian Fair Work Regulations have been amended to support certain parts of the extension of the Government’s JobKeeper Scheme (September 23, 2020).

India – Only 60 Districts in 7 States are a Cause of Worry

Owing to the increase in cases across the country, the Prime Minister hosted a virtual meeting with Chief Ministers of seven states to discuss plan of action to curb the spread of COVID-19 (September 23, 2020).

US – Form I-9 Requirements Flexibility Extended for an Additional 60 Days

Originally set to expire September 19, a policy that affords companies operating remotely some flexibility in complying with requirements related to Form I-9 has been extended an additional 60 days (September 15, 2020).

EU – Rebooting the EU Economy During a World Health Pandemic

A new investment plan called NEXT GENERATION EU and a reinforced, long-term European Union budget have been prepared to boost the economy (September 11, 2020).

US – Department of Labor Revises Regulations to Clarify Paid Leave Requirements Under Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The new rule clarifies workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities under the paid leave provisions at organizations with few than 500 employees, and at state/local government employers of all sizes (September 11, 2020).

US – California Expands COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Requirements

California’s Governor signed a bill on September 9 to codify existing, supplemental paid sick leave requirements for certain food sector workers and adding additional requirements other employers (September 10, 2020).

France – €100 Billion Stimulus Plan Unveiled to Kickstart Economy

Forty percent of the French government’s €100 billion stimulus package will be provided by the European Union's €750 billion Recovery Fund; the remaining €60 billion will come from the state coffers and a publicly funded investment bank (September 3, 2020).

Business News We’re Watching

Hong Kong – Airlines Want a Quick US$10 COVID-19 Test to Boost International Travel

Airlines are pushing for international travelers to pay for and use a US$10 COVID-19 test at the airport in a bid to increase testing accuracy and reduce the number of infectious travelers arriving from overseas (September 23, 2020).

India – Startups in India are Fighting COVID-19 Disruption

As the economy has started to reopen, startups are gearing up for optimizing the unlock and the upcoming festive season in India (September 22, 2020).

India – Business Activity May Touch Pre-COVID-19 Levels by March

With several relaxations in place, a survey of professionals across industries suggests that business may get back to a pre-pandemic state by March of next year (September 22, 2020).

Ireland – Cork’s Global Shares Announces 150 New Jobs as it Eyes Unicorn Status

Fintech firm Global Shares announced 150 new roles in software development, compliance, cybersecurity, financial reporting, and project management to be filled immediately, with plans to have a total of 1,000 employees by 2024 (September 12, 2020).

US – UPS to Hire 100,000 Seasonal Workers for Extended Holiday Shopping Rush

The world’s largest package delivery company plans to hire 100k workers over what it predicts will be an extended peak holiday season from October to January – one month longer than prior years (September 9, 2020).

 

Ireland – Applications Now Open for Facebook’s Return to Work Scheme

Due to its success across the US, the “Return to Work” scheme is launching in Ireland with a goal of hiring people with engineering and business skills, and giving people seeking to re-enter employment after two or more years the opportunity to take part in a 16-week program (September 8, 2020).

Ireland – Irish Payments Start-Up CleverCards Announces 30 New Jobs

CleverCards, a Dublin-based start-up that distributes digital prepaid Mastercards, will create 30 jobs over the next six months in areas such as sales, marketing, product development, and engineering (September 7, 2020).

 

Singapore – Firms That Hire More Locals to Earn Incentives Under Jobs’ Growth Scheme

Singapore is encouraging organizations with monetary incentives if they hire and support local talent in an attempt to reduce foreign hiring and curb unemployment due to the pandemic (September 5, 2020).

Canada – Total Employment Increases by 245,800 Jobs in August

Compared to July, employment across Canada rose by 245,800 jobs in August, and the unemployment rate fell to 10.2%, according to Statistics Canada data (September 4, 2020).

 

US – 106,700 Temp Jobs Added in August

While still down 16.1% year over year, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a rise in temp jobs in August of 106,700 (September 4, 2020).

US – FedEx Plans 70,000-Job Hiring Spree for Record Holiday Surge

To meet what it expects to be an unprecedented level of delivery demand, FedEx plans to hire 70,000 season workers, up 27% from last year’s peak (September 3, 2020). (September 12, 2020).

Ireland – Regeneron to Add 400 New Jobs at Limerick Pharma Base

Pharma giant Regeneron has announced plans to add jobs at its industrial operations and product supply facility as part of its “long-term commitment to Ireland” (August 27, 2020).

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Contact Us

If you have an urgent issue that needs a response, contact your program leader or reach us at one of the addresses below. When emailing, please be sure to include the client name, where applicable.

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General Inquiries

If your business is struggling to navigate how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting contingent and permanent staffing, please reach out. We are committed to sharing what we know and guiding you as you evaluate your options.

This site contains general information only, and AGS is not rendering legal advice. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult qualified legal counsel. AGS shall not be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person or company who relies on this update. Inclusion of any hyperlink or explanatory notes/summary do not imply any endorsement, investigation, verification, or monitoring by AGS of any information in any hyperlinked site.