COVID-19: Masimanyane Workplace Policy



From time to time infectious diseases develop into epidemics or pandemics, and create increased risks for the community. These occasions require specific policies targeted at the particular disease in question and general efforts at preparedness.


1. Masimanyane Women’s Rights International wishes as far as possible to protect its clients, its staff, its volunteers, and the general public from infection or contagion by epidemics and/or pandemics.

2. Masimanyane Women’s Rights International will facilitate, through its policies and procedures, strategies designed to reduce risks to its clients, its staff, its volunteers, and the general public.

3. Masimanyane Women’s Rights International will comply with all directions from authorised public health officers and recognised medical authorities in relation to the epidemic or pandemic.


PURPOSE


1. The board of Masimanyane Women’s Rights is working on developing a policy to outline the strategies and actions that we intend taking to prevent the transmission of Covid -19 that has now been declared a pandemic, and control the transmission of this infectious diseases when a case/s is identified.

Our intervention focusses specifically on the Corona Virus as we now know that it is easily and widely spreading across the world. It can be transmitted directly or indirectly, from one person to another. Our intervention is focused on Covid 19 since it has been a pandemic and President Ramaphosa has declared a national disaster due to its spread in South Africa.


SCOPE


Our intervention applies to:


  • Employees

  • Directors Officers

  • Contractors (including employees of contractors)

  • Volunteers

  • Suppliers

  • Consultants


POLICY PROPOSAL


1. Masimanyane Women’s Rights International will as far as possible plan for and make advance preparations for the possibility that its operations will be affected by an epidemic or pandemic.

2. In the event of an epidemic or pandemic, Masimanyane Women’s Rights International will, as far as possible:

2.1 Assist its clients, staff, volunteers and others, as relevant, to minimise their exposure to the illness concerned.

2.2 Encourage and assist those who have reason to believe that they are at risk of contracting the epidemic or pandemic to obtain a diagnosis.

2.3 Support employees, volunteers, contractors and clients to take reasonable precautions to prevent infection or contagion.

2.4 Provide standard precautions such as personal protective equipment (e.g. masks, soap, and gloves).

2.5 Maintain its services and operations throughout the period of concern albeit it in a modified way or at reduced levels if required due to safety concerns.

3 Masimanyane Women’s Rights International requires people covered by this Policy to take the following precautions ;

3.1 Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

3.2 Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

3.3 Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, or shaking hands with others.

3.4 Make sure you follow good hygiene, and encourage others to do the same. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze, and disposing of used tissues immediately.

3.5 Consider staying/Stay home if you feel unwell. If you are well enough to work but would like to minimise the risk of infecting others, ask your [manager/ supervisor] whether you can temporarily work from home.

3.6 Keep up to date on the latest hotspots (cities or local areas where the pandemic or epidemic is spreading widely). If possible, avoid traveling to places - especially if you are more at risk.

3.7 If you are or are likely to be contagious, notify [your manager/position] as soon as possible. It may be possible or necessary for you to self-isolate by staying at home until you recover.

3.8 Seek medical advice promptly and follow the directions of your local health authority.



LEAVE & FLEXIBILITY


1 Masimanyane Women’s Rights International recognises that staff may request or require paid and unpaid leave when they are unwell, at risk of or vulnerable to infection, and at risk of infecting others.

2 Workers may make use of leave consistent with Masimanyane Women’s Rights International leave policy and the National Employment Standards which includes access to unpaid leave.

3 Masimanyane Women’s Rights International may, at its discretion, direct those affected or reasonably at risk of being affected by the pandemic or epidemic, to remain away from the workplace or work remotely.



RESPONSIBILITIES


1.1 The ED is responsible for:

• Nominating an Epidemic Officer. The normal expectation will be that the Workplace Health and Safety Officer shall be appointed as Epidemic Officer, but the ED may override this if they see fit or if one does not exist.

• Ensuring that the organisation’s Leave and Workplace Health and Safety policies are consistent with the intention of the above Policy

• Assessing the organisation’s vulnerabilities, in the light of the epidemic or pandemic, to:

  • MWRI own human resources

  • MWRI suppliers of goods and services

• In the event of an epidemic or pandemic,

  • Giving notice to staff, volunteers, clients, and any persons likely to be affected that epidemic or pandemic procedures are in effect

  • Bringing into operation the epidemic or pandemic management procedures specified below

  • Instituting any administrative measures necessary to reduce the impact of the vulnerabilities detailed above

1.2 Supervisors/managers are responsible for:

• Ensuring that staff and volunteers are aware of the epidemic procedures in effect at any time.


1.3 Employees/volunteers are responsible for:

• Abiding by the epidemic procedures specified below, when informed by authorised staff that epidemic or pandemic procedures are in effect


1.4 The Epidemic Officer is responsible for:

• Working with the ED on the preparation of a comprehensive epidemic plan

• Advising the ED on when epidemic procedures should be activated

• Familiarising staff with recommended procedures regarding epidemic avoidance

• Working with all sectors of the organisation to identify mission-critical staff and functions Template Pandemic Emergency Management Plan)

PROCEDURES


The following procedures apply in the event of the CEO giving notice that epidemic or pandemic procedures are in effect.


Events

• The ED with the advice of the Epidemic Officer, will consider on a continuing basis whether any events involving the attendance of staff or members of the public should be changed, rescheduled or cancelled to minimise the risk of infection.

Work procedures

• The ED, with the advice of the Epidemic Officer, will consider on a continuing basis whether:

o it is necessary or appropriate for nominated staff/volunteers to work from home.

o staff/volunteer travel, (or other activities that may cause them to come into contact with other people in Australia or overseas) should be modified or terminated.

o arrangements for staff/volunteers who work with clients or the public should be modified to minimise risks for all parties.

• The ED, with the advice of the Epidemic Officer, may require any member of staff to not attend the workplace, and/or to work from home, or, if this is not feasible or appropriate, to take [paid Epidemic Leave / Personal Leave/ Annual Leave].

• The ED, with the advice of the Epidemic Officer, may require any member of staff to provide satisfactory evidence that they are fit to return to work.

Contractors and suppliers

• The ED, with the advice of the Epidemic Officer, will consider on a continuing basis whether arrangements with existing contractors and suppliers need to be modified or supplemented to ensure uninterrupted service delivery.


HEALTH MESSAGING


The Epidemic Officer shall familiarise staff/volunteers and others, as relevant, with recommended procedures on epidemic avoidance guidelines (e.g. handwashing, soap, sneezing policy) as appropriate.




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© 2020 Masimanyane Women's Rights International

 

Masimanyane is a Section 18A-status or public benefit organisation (PBO). Donations by or to this PBO are exempt from donations tax in terms of Section 56(1)(h) of the Act. Masimanyane's PBO number is 930011582. Masimanyane's Section 21 registration number is 1997/003982/08.​ 

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