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 October 16 at 8:25 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.

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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

India – Some States are Reopening Schools

While states like Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Chhattisgarh have decided against re-opening schools, the Central Government has approved such re-openings, leaving the final decision to individual state governments (October 14, 2020).

India – Government Launches Awareness Drive About Precautions Against COVID-19

As economic activities are reopening and festivities are around the corner, the government has launched an awareness campaign to ensure people do no lower their guards with regards to precautions against COVID-19 (October 13, 2020).

US – Facing Your Face Mask Duties – A List of Statewide Orders

Jurisdictions are encouraging or mandating mask-wearing when people are out in public, with some directives obligating employers to provide employees with masks (October 13, 2020).

Singapore – Updates on Border Measures and COVID-19 Testing for Travelers

Singapore’s Multi-Ministry Task Force has updated its border measures based on recent COVID-19 cases, where some areas still require travelers to complete a 14-day Stay-Home Notice upon arrival (October 12, 2020).

UK – £257 Million in Additional Funding from the UK Government to Support the Arts Sector

The UK government announced additional funding for the performing arts organizations and venues, helping secure the industry through the economic struggles due to COVID-19 social restrictions (October 12, 2020).

Singapore – Making Rostered Routine Testing More Convenient for Employers and Migrant Workers

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower and Health Promotion Board have deployed tools and facilities to support Rostered Routine Testing for migrant workers and their employers to mitigate another rise in COVID-19 cases (October 8, 2020).

Hong Kong – List of Employers Receiving Employment Support Scheme Funds Released

The Employment Support Scheme Secretariat has published the list of 19,200 employers who received initial wage subsidies in the recent batch of government support funds (October 7, 2020).

Spain – PM Pedro Sanchez Plans to Create 800,000 Jobs to Boost Recovery

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has confirmed he is looking to create 800,000 jobs to improve the economy in Spain (October 7, 2020).

US – Revised FFCRA Regulations May Prompt Policy Updates

Following the US Department of Labor’s revisions to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act regulations, changes may be needed to employers’ documentation and intermittent leave policies (October 5, 2020).

US – Department of Labor Issues FAQs on Reporting Work-Related Cases of the Coronavirus

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a set of common questions and answers about reporting employees’ in-patient hospitalizations and fatalities resulting from work-related cases of COVID-19 (September 30, 2020).

India – Explained: Here are the Revised COVID-19 Quarantine Rules Across States

The state governments have revised the isolation guidelines as per the evolving COVID-19 situation (September 24, 2020).

US – Who Pays for COVID-19 Testing?

Health plans or employers can be on the hook when it comes to paying for COVID-19 testing; the answer depends on who orders the test (September 24, 2020).

UK – Government Announces a Jobs Support Scheme to Replace the Current Furlough Scheme

The new Job Support Scheme comes into effect November 1 for six months, contributing some wages to employees who work at least a third of their normal hours (September 24, 2020).

UK – 6% Drop in Vacancies Following the End of the Government Furlough Scheme

As the job retention scheme winds down, vacancy numbers across the UK dropped 6% in early September (September 14, 2020).

UK – Recruitment Drive for Thousands of Jobcentre Plus Work Coaches

The UK government is recruiting an additional 13,500 Jobcentre Plus work coaches, with a goal to have a total of 27,000 people in place to help the unemployed find jobs (September 11, 2020).

 

Business News We’re Watching

US – Jackson Hewitt Tax Services to Hire 22,000 for Upcoming Tax Season

The company expects to hire 22,000 employees at nearly 6,000 locations to support its tax preparation service for the 2020-2021 season (October 14, 2020).

US – Microsoft Adopts “Hybrid Workforce” Model

In a move to enable more employees to work from home permanently, Microsoft unveiled plans to adopt a “hybrid workforce” environment (October 11, 2020).

Canada – Employment Up by 2.1% in September

Statistics Canada reports the country added approximately 378,000 jobs in September, bringing Canada within 720,000 of its pre-pandemic numbers (October 9, 2020).

India – How India’s Biggest Cities Have Got Back to Work

The “Unlock” phase has brought back some energy into urban cities as offices and commuters start showing signs of a gradual return to normalcy (October 9, 2020).

US – IT Jobs Rise for Second Straight Month

After taking a hit from the pandemic, IT jobs increased for the second consecutive month (October 9, 2020).

US – Lowe’s to Spend $100 Million for an Additional Pandemic Bonus for Workers

Lowe’s has committed another $100 million in bonus funds for workers, bringing its additional compensation tally amid the pandemic to $775 million (October 7, 2020).

US – Dollar Tree and Family Dollar to Hire More than 25,000 Associates

During Nationwide Hiring Week, October 19-23, Dollar Tree plans to hire 25,000 associates for its retail locations and distribution centers (October 5, 2020).

Ireland – 80 Jobs Confirmed to Service Offshore Windfarms

Green Rebel Marine, a new company set up to service and maintain Ireland’s growing number of offshore windfarms, will create 80 jobs over the next 18 months (September 28, 2020).

Ireland – Software Company Workvivo Announces 100 New Jobs for Cork

Workvivo is opening 100 new jobs for its headquarters in Cork, focused on roles for engineers, software developers, and people in customer experience, sales, and marketing (September 26, 2020).

Finland – “Corona Dogs” Deployed at Helsinki Airport to Sniff Out COVID-19

Four dogs have been deployed at Helsinki Airport as part of a pilot project that has seen early success rates of sniffing out COVID-19 from 94% to 100% of the time, with future possible deployment at nursing homes, customs, or other border points (September 24, 2020).

UK – Supermarket Chain Iceland Announces Mass Recruitment Drive

Iceland Supermarket has created roughly 3,000 jobs to handle the extra demand for online groceries, which began growing since the start of lockdown in March (September 9, 2020).

UK – Recruitment Drive Underway at Amazon

Amazon has announced that 10,000 new permanent roles are being created across the UK in 2020, taking the company’s total permanent UK workforce to more than 40,000 (September 3, 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.

North America

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EMEA

MSP & RPO Response Team

APAC

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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.