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 December 1 at 8:40 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.

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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 

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: Positive Recovery Seen in Strong Wage Growth and GDP - NEW

Job vacancies continue to recover, having increased significantly since June. However, there is still a way to go before numbers return to those seen back in February of this year. We also expect that the sourcing of professional and IT talent will become more competitive in this last quarter of 2020. 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 – Central Government Demands Strict State Containment

Owing to increasing cases of COVID-19, the Ministry of Home Affairs has asked all states to strengthen local restrictions and levy penalties if guidelines are not followed (November 25, 2020).

US – Employee Temperature and Health Screenings – A List of Statewide Orders

A listing of statewide laws and orders requiring employers to take employees’ temperatures and/or conduct other pertinent health screenings has been updated (November 24, 2020).

US – COVID-19 State Policy Report Issued

A resource document tracking shifting state and local government policies related to COVID-19 and the economic impacts has been updated (November 20, 2020).

UK – Government Offering Extra Support to Staff and Firms During Winter Months

The UK government has pledged billions of pounds more to support companies and workers, plus the extension of a furlough scheme paying 80 percent of staff wages (November 19, 2020).

UK – New Transformation Business Group Created

Leaders from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs department have launched a 10-year tax strategy and a new Transformation Business Group responsible for its oversight and project delivery (November 19, 2020).

US – ICE Extends COVID I-9 Virtual Policy Rules to December 31

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced it will extend the flexibilities currently in place to allow virtual versus in-person document reviews for employers and workplaces operating completely remotely (November 18, 2020).

US – Department of Labor Updates FAQs to Address Cloth Face Coverings

The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined it does not believe enough information is available to determine if some cloth face coverings offer the same protections as personal protective equipment (November 18, 2020).

Business News We’re Watching

UK – Jaguar Land Rover Hiring 300 Apprentices and Graduates Now

Jaguar Land Rover announced a recruitment drive for up to 300 new apprentices, undergraduates and graduates, who will join the carmaker’s engineering, software and finance departments in September 2021 (November 24, 2020).

Ireland – Microsoft Hiring 200 in Engineering at Expanded Dublin Campus

Microsoft Ireland will create 200 engineering roles at a new engineering hub in its Leopardstown campus in County Dublin through an investment by state agency IDA Ireland (November 23, 2020).

UK – Oxford COVID Vaccine Hits 90% Success Rate

While scientists revealed that the Oxford University and AstraZeneca vaccine trials had an overall efficacy of 70%, the rate could improve to around 90% effective when administered as a half dose followed by a full dose a month later (November 23, 2020).

UK – Recruitment Drive Re-Launched for New Construction Assessors

While put on hold due to the pandemic, a project to recruit and train 100 quality assessors for the construction industry in Scotland has been re-launched (November 23, 2020).

US – Starbucks Giving Baristas Pay Raises

Before the end of 2020, shift supervisors, café attendants and baristas at Starbucks will receive pay raises of at least 10% (November 19, 2020).

US – DHL, UPS, Delivery Companies Hiring Thousands

To prepare for high volumes of predicted online holiday orders, major delivery companies are investing heavily in their workforces and deploying additional planes and delivery vehicles (November 18, 2020).

US – Home Depot is Spending $1 Billion for Worker Raises

Big box home improvement retailer Home Depot is investing $1 billion in “incremental compensation” annually for workers in recognition of the difficult year of 2020 (November 17, 2020).

Ireland – Fintech Firm Transact Campus Announces 110 Jobs for Limerick

Transact Campus will create 110 jobs at its new international headquarters in Limerick to support its payment and credential software development business (November 16, 2020).

UK – Two New Megalabs to Open in 2021 to Transform Diagnostic Facilities

Daily COVID-19 testing capacity will increase to 600,000 and provide faster turnaround times when two labs in Leamington Spa and Scotland open and begin operating at full capacity (November 16, 2020).

Ireland – €78m Qualcomm Technologies R&D Lab Will Bring Hundreds of Jobs to Cork

A subsidiary of wireless tech company Qualcomm is expanding its presence in Ireland by investing in a new R&D facility in Cork city and creating hundreds of highly skilled roles (November 12, 2020).

EU – Plan Announced to Sign Large Deal for BioNtech/Pfizer Vaccine

The EU has announced it plans to sign a deal that would secure up to 300 million doses of the 90%+ effective experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer (November 11, 2020).

UK – Clarks Shoes Rescued in £100m Deal with LionRock

Clarks, one of the UK’s oldest shoe chains, has been rescued in a £100m investment deal, meaning no shops will permanently close and no jobs will be lost (November 4, 2020).

US – Google Hiring 10,000 Workers in Four Cities by 2025

Google announced its plans to hire 10,000 workers over the next five years in Chicago, New York, Atlanta and Washington, DC, beginning with 1,000 positions by next year (October 22, 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.