Published on 23rd March 2021
A year after its outbreak, the Covid-19 pandemic is still very much part of our lives. Yet, it is evolving constantly and as learnings on the effects of the crisis unfold, the World Employment Confederation (WEC) sets out guidance on Covid-19 related occupational health & safety protocols to be applied to agency workers.
By principle, WEC Members expect that the same equal standards and practices apply to agency work personnel as to the clients’ / user companies’ personnel. The guidance covers elements of health and safety protocols such as the application of basic protective measures (social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, etc.), testing, vaccination and contact tracing. It also includes specific guidance for the Health Care Sector and the Elderly Care Sector.
As the guidance is issued, a great focus is put on vaccination. WEC supports the vaccines literacy initiative CONVINCE, launched by the USCIB and the IOE in July 2020, and joins the global communication and education initiative to promote COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among private sector employers and employees, with a focus on agency workers. WEC members acknowledge and support all measures that include the consultation of workers, and specifically agency workers and agencies, in the provision of vaccines at clients / agency work user companies.
A sector at the frontline
Private employment services companies are, as employers of the agency workers, upholding the highest standards of occupational health and safety, ensuring that the agency workers can provide their services under the safest possible working conditions at the clients’ / user companies’ premises. The care extends both to the physical as well as the psychological conditions agency workers should encounter, recognizing that wellbeing support is a key pillar in the fight against the effects of the Pandemic.
The private employment services industry has played a key role in mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 crisis throughout the world. In many countries, workers assigned by agency work companies have been and still are at the frontline, providing essential work, for example, in the health care sector, in food retail and in logistics.
From day one of the crisis, health and safety of workers has been the primary concern for the private employment services sector. Very quickly, the industry came together to share best practices around health and safety protocols through the “Safely Back To Work Alliance”. Launched in April 2020, the initiative currently operates in 25 countries around the world. In conjunction with the initiative, WEC Members continue to follow the respective Government recommendations in all the countries they operate in.