FAQs: minimise disruption from COVID-19.

The coronavirus pandemic is disrupting the global economy and businesses everywhere. Like others affected by this development, your organisation faces an unprecedented challenge with managing your workforce. As a partner to employers around the world, we’re ready to continue supporting your goals and providing the expertise, advisory services and best practices to help your organisation weather this global health emergency.

what you can expect from us

During this COVID-19 outbreak, we have been working hard to ensure a continuation of service to you. 

Our priority, like yours, is to contain the spread of the virus by keeping all our staff, temporary workers and contractors as safe as possible while minimising disruption to businesses. As such, we have activated our Business Continuity Plan and a managing COVID-19 guide that will help steer our employees, contractors and candidates. 

Randstad Hong Kong has implemented flexible working practices since 27 January 2020. Employees who choose to work in the office are given 1 mask everyday to minimise the risk of transmission. Randstad Hong Kong will continue to monitor the local situation to determine the implementation of flexible work practices such as split or shift team arrangement or work-from-home.

your questions answered

Like many companies based in Hong Kong SAR, you may have questions about business risks in the event of unseen workforce contingencies. How can you ensure your business meets legal and contractual obligations in a rapidly evolving world of work and regulatory environment?  

We have developed a list of Q&As below to help provide answers and resources you should review to help your company minimise risks, adopt best practices and stay informed throughout rapid market changes around the world.

frequently asked questions

  • what is COVID-19 and what are the symptoms to look out for?

    Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus. According to the Ministry of Health, the symptoms of COVID-19 infection are similar to that of regular pneumonia. Typical symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

  • what can you do to protect yourself and other employees?

    At this stage, we do not know for sure how the virus spreads from person to person. However, there are steps you can take to help avoid catching (and spreading) germs:

    • consciously practice social distancing. 
    • stay at home if you are unwell.
      cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
    • put used tissues in the bin immediately.
    • wash your hands with soap and water often and for at least 20 seconds each time. use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
    • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
    • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
    • please contact your manager if you are unwell.
  • how do I practice social distancing?

    Social distancing is an effective measure, but it is recognised that it cannot be practised in all situations and the aim is to generally reduce potential for transmission.

    While practising social distancing, people can travel to work and purchase their daily essentials (including public transport). 

    For non-essential activities outside the workplace or attendance at schools, universities and childcare - social distancing includes:

    • avoiding crowds and mass gatherings where it is difficult to keep the appropriate distance away from others. Some examples include concerts, shopping centres and lifts.
    • avoiding small gatherings in enclosed spaces, for example family celebrations
    • attempting to keep a distance of at least 1 metre between yourself and other people where possible, for example when they are out and about in a public place.
    • avoiding shaking hands, hugging, or kissing other people
    • avoiding visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals, infants, or people with compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment.
  • what are the guidelines if you have an underlying medical condition or you’re pregnant?

    People of all ages and races can get COVID-19. People in higher-risk groups (compromised immune system, health history of respiratory diseases and issues, pregnant and elderly people) are more likely to become severely ill with the virus. In such cases, you may also wish to take added precautions. Please discuss with your manager and reach out to HR. We continue to assess and test our technology infrastructure, and are confident that we will maintain service in the event that our teams employed on client programmes can continue to work (also in line with client plans, policies and procedures).

    Our senior leadership team will closely monitor the situation in all client accounts using our proprietary analytics programs. This gives us early insight into key recruiting metrics to ensure our teams remain agile and can be a significant resource in providing guidance on facilitating work from home arrangements, video interviewing services, virtual recruiting platforms, etc. to keep your business moving ahead during this disruption.

  • what is your view on Randstad’s ability to continue to supply clients with workforce services over the coming months?

    Like most companies, Randstad maintains a Business Continuity team focused on maintaining all aspects of our business functions related to the COVID-19 virus and its impact. In the current business environment, we have established protocols following recommendations from health authorities, national, regional and local task forces, and other advisory groups to ensure we can continue to run our business and support our clients and workers in the safest and most effective manner possible for all stakeholders.

    As any emergent situation would require, Randstad will very closely follow the guiding rules organisations have in place for their own employees and will advise our employees on client sites to adhere to these same policies and procedures, with applicable monitoring and guidance.

  • what is the latest travel advice?

    Effective from 25 March 2020 (00:00 HKT), only Hong Kong residents with following documents will be permitted to enter Hong Kong:

    • Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card
    • Hong Kong SAR passport or British National (Overseas) passport (with right of abode in Hong Kong)
    • Hong Kong Identity Card (this needs to be accompanied with a valid work or study visa)

    Non-Hong Kong residents will be denied entry into Hong Kong. 

    Entry restriction exemptions

    • Passengers travelling from Mainland China, Taiwan or Macao SAR and have not been to other country/region in past 14 days
    • Passengers travelling on a diplomatic passports
    • The spouse and children of Hong Kong residents
    • Local government personnel performing official duties
    • Personnel approved by the Hong Kong SAR government to carry out anti-epidemic work

    Passengers falling into this exemption category must still meet the minimum 14 days intended/permitted limit of stay in order to meet the 14 days of compulsory quarantine requirements – otherwise entry will be refused

    Macao SAR permanent and non-permanent residents can continue to enter Hong Kong with prior transport arrangements with the Macao Tourism Board. Passengers wishing to take advantage of this arrangement must do the following:

    • Register with the Macao SAR government for their Special Traffic Arrangement programme and transport service
    • Present their Macao SAR passport or Macao SAR electronic identity card to the transport carrier at check-in

    Transit restrictions

    Passengers are no longer permitted to transit through Hong Kong International Airport.

    All sea-to-air ferry services (Greater Bay Area to Hong Kong) and air-to-sea ferry services (Hong Kong to Greater Bay Area) have also been suspended. 

    Additional entry requirements

    A health declaration form must be completed and submitted to the Hong Kong Department of Health on arrival. These forms are distributed onboard all flights to Hong Kong. Alternatively, passengers can submit their details by filling out the online form prior to departure – upon completion, a QR code (valid for 24 hours) will be provided to present to officials on arrival.  

    Quarantine measures

    Hong Kong SAR residents who have been to the following countries/regions in the past 14 days will be required to undergo 14 days of compulsory quarantine in a government-nominated quarantine facility: 

    China: Hubei
    Italy: Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto regions
    South Korea: Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do

    All other passengers who are eligible to enter Hong Kong will be required to undergo 14 days of compulsory quarantine, either at home or a hotel.

  • what provisions/best practices are Randstad following that may be of help to you?

    We believe governments and health agencies are best positioned to determine appropriate measures, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and other prominent health organisations, and our global and local task forces are adhering to their guidelines on mitigation and prevention.

  • what are the guidelines for Randstad employees, contractors and temps if they experience symptoms and/or have concerns?

    If you feel unwell and/or have concerns that you have the virus based on your recent travel history, or due to the fact that you have come into contact with someone who has travelled to a high-risk area, we advise you to not come into the office and stay a safe distance away from your family members and/or housemates. 

    You are strongly encouraged to visit the local general practitioner to diagnose your symptoms. Please wear a mask and avoid touching anything or practice social distancing. After you’ve visited the clinic, please immediately connect with your manager and HR department to discuss your symptoms and provide regular updates of your health.

  • how is Randstad managing technology?

    We continue to assess and test our technology infrastructure, and are confident that we will maintain service levels as they are.

    Our senior leadership team will closely monitor the situation in all client accounts. This ensures that our teams remain agile and can be a significant resource in providing guidance on facilitating work from home arrangements, video interviewing services, virtual recruiting platforms, etc. to keep your business moving ahead during this disruption.

  • what if a family member becomes unwell?

    If a family member is diagnosed with COVID-19 and you have been in close contact you MUST self isolate yourself and avoid any physical interaction with others. Please contact your HR and line manager and update them of the situation. 

    If still unsure what you should do, please visit the Centre for Health Protection website, or call the local non-emergency health line for further advice.

  • what are the guidelines for Randstad employees if they have travelled in impacted regions?

    It’s the responsibility of all our employees to inform their manager and the HR Business Partners of their travel activities. 

    From 19 March 2020, all travellers arriving to Hong Kong SAR are required to undergo a 14-day compulsory quarantine. Hong Kong residents returning from the Republic of Korea may be required to undergo a 14-day medical surveillance or compulsory quarantine depending on the passenger’s travel history. 

    Any person (including Hong Kong SAR) who has been to the following countries and regions in the past 14 days will be required to undergo a 14-day compulsory quarantine in a quarantine centre upon entering Hong Kong SAR:

    • Iran
    • Italy: Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto regions
    • South Korea: Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do

    From 19 March 2020, passengers arriving from the following destinations are exempt from the above requirements:

    • Taiwan
    • Macao
  • what if you or your employees travel abroad and cannot come back to Hong Kong SAR?

    It is important in these times to first and foremost reconsider all travel. If you or your employees absolutely have to travel, consult your manager first and discuss potential scenarios in case you cannot return to Hong Kong SAR. For example, ensure you (have the tools to) can work virtually.

  • does Randstad have a business continuity plan? E.g. in case offices are closed or employees need to work from home etc?

    Randstad has an extensive business continuity plan. To find out more please reach out to your Randstad Account Manager or consultant who can share aspects of this plan and advise companies on best practice procedures to minimise risks and business continuity.

  • how do we facilitate Randstad employees working from home?

    Our people have a full suite of IT solutions to support remote working and the continuation of services to our clients and candidates.

  • what is Randstad’s policy around temps working from home?

    In essence you, our client’s, work from home policy applies - so we’ll need a copy of that plus ensure they have the right hardware to be able to do their job. Ideally, we want to be able to support our temporary employees and contractors to remain working.

  • what steps are Randstad taking to combat the virus?

    Randstad has adopted reasonable and proportionate actions consistent with government advice that should be taken as precautionary measures to protect the health and wellbeing of the community. Our priority is the health and wellbeing of our workforce. Our proactive measures include taking proactive measures communicating hygiene practices to all staff members and keeping a log of all international travel. 

    In addition, we have communicated hygiene practices to our working temporary employees and contractors. We will continue to update them over the coming weeks.

    If required, we have further measures to update and support current working employees of Randstad, however, are monitoring the situation daily and following government advice on the matter.

best practices curated for you

Unsure how to adapt your talent strategies during the COVID-19 emergency? We have curated best practice examples from employers and advice from leading health authorities around the world to help you effectively respond to the current challenging environment. 

From examples of how companies are leading in the fight to protect their workers, to expert advice on how you should communicate with talent on an ongoing basis, we’ve created a database of curated content that will be updated regularly during the pandemic crisis. Our best practices library also includes original content authored by Randstad thought leaders and valued technology partners on steps you can take to minimise disruption to your business.

working with randstad remotely

Client visits are now virtual as a default. If you and a member of our staff need to meet face-to-face for any compelling reason, we have instructed our staff to only do so with mutual consent and adhering to the health and safety instructions including social distancing. You can connect to us via phone and many digital solutions such as Google hangouts, Skype, GotoMeeting and Zoom.

Job interviews are now virtual as a default. For any interactions where we must meet face-to-face such as onboarding, training, tests or picking up safety equipment, we ask that you get in touch with your consultant first to understand procedures moving forward. In the case of face-to-face interactions, we ask that people stay 1.5 metres apart. Consultants will wipe down any surfaces that have been touched after the meeting is finished.