As you will know from media reports, a new virus COVID-19, has been reported in a number of locations globally. Morneau Shepell is actively monitoring the situation and its impact across all the geographies where we operate. In addition to our ongoing business continuity planning activities, we have significant experience managing the wide-scale impact of health-related pandemic issues from SARS and H5N1. This experience includes both our approach to ensuring that service remains available to you, our clients and your people, and the additional support that you may require from us.
Morneau Shepell is committed and prepared to address the evolving risk posed by COVID-19. We have a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and specifically a plan and crisis leadership team responsible for pandemic plan implementation. The team includes executive leadership and representation from each region, and each functional area in our organization including account management, clinical services, business operations, communications, facilities management, human resources and IT.
Throughout our planning and preparedness activities, our actions are aligned to the level of threat, the level of impact and potential for escalation in one region, before others.
Our Business Continuity Plan includes but is not limited to the following:
- Designation of essential operations and plans to reassign staff from non-critical functions if employee absence is a threat.
- Review and assurance that our IT infrastructure is able to support an increase in remote work, and manage any added load to client-facing or service delivery technology that may occur. This includes an increase in the use of video, telephonic and digital counseling modalities, and an increase in the use of the LifeWorks app by our client organizations, for company posts.
- Further ensuring that we have multiple levels of redundancy, should a critical system failure.
- Assessment of the risk level of any vendors or other parties that we depend on, and requiring confirmation from critical vendors that they have a robust business continuity plan (BCP) and are able to deploy as needed.
- An internal communications plan to ensure that the business continuity plan, updates, and changes can be communicated in real-time to those who need to know specific information; and those who need to take a new action, that the information has been received and action taken as appropriate.
- Confirmation of the chain of command and back-ups for leaders and critical roles.
- The crisis leadership team ensures that leaders in each technical and operational domain execute their accountability as indicated, and plans are updated as new information warrants.
- A central function is assigned to ensure that leaders and others have real-time access to public health information and recommended practices for each of our key geographies.
- A centralized repository for information is used to ensure that critical information, decisions and plans are documented and easily accessible.
Support for the health and wellbeing of our people
- We leverage multiple channels to communicate information that is in line with public health recommendations for health, hygiene, and prudent action.
- Additional communication and management oversight are implemented in work environments where the transmission of respiratory illness is typically more prevalent (e.g. call centers).
- Policy and practices are established to limit or prohibit face-to-face meetings and travel when the risk level is high.
- Reminders of the availability of EAP for emotional support are communicated frequently.
- We further ensure attention to absence recording is consistent as high absence levels may trigger some BCP actions.
- Additional actions are taken in line with occupational health and public health practices as they emerge.
Morneau Shepell’s support to our clients and their people
We fully recognize that the threat posed by COVID-19 may cause anxiety among your people and their families. We also recognize the potential for mental and physical strain on your people, given the impact of deploying your own BCP plan and dealing with any increased absence within your organization. Given this, our plan also includes additional information to our clients, communications for your people and critical incident support in addition to our ongoing services.
Our commitment to you
Morneau Shepell is committed to the continuity of all our services, and partnering with our clients to support the health and wellbeing of their people throughout this period of escalated concern and on an ongoing basis.
Your Morneau Shepell representative is available to answer questions or provide additional support as indicated.