open letter.

Unparalleled collaboration is needed to prepare for the new normal in the workplace in the wake of COVID-19.

As the CEOs of three leading HR services companies we are joining forces to enable companies and workers to return to work safely when the time is right.

The COVID-19 health crisis is posing unprecedented challenges to people and economies around the world. To limit the economic downturn and impact on people’s ability to earn a living, the labor market and all its stakeholders must quickly adjust to this new reality – a new normal where physical distancing and other strict measures will be integral to all workplace processes for a considerable time to come. 

We believe urgent action is needed to be fully prepared to get people safely back to work when the moment is right. Timing this accurately is crucial for the economy. The right timing will differ per country and sector, and relies on learnings from the waves and stages of the pandemic across the world. 

Unparalleled collaboration and coordination by diverse stakeholder groups, ranging from employers and governments to labor unions and institutes, is needed to prepare for the new normal in the workplace. 

Given the sense of urgency, we have formed an HR services industry alliance. Together with the wider industry – as the world’s largest private sector employer and labor market expert – we endeavor to make a vital contribution to preparing for the new normal and getting people safely back to work and businesses and economies running again. In 2018 alone the industry placed nearly 60 million workers in jobs across dozens of countries and sectors. We stand ready to bring that expertise and experience to bear as economies re-open for business.

The alliance’s actions will be based on sharing best practices on health and safety protocols, which will need to be either set-up or updated for the temporary ‘physical distancing economy’. To provide the greatest measure of certainty to workers and businesses, it is critical these practices be shared across industries and countries, and that new channels be created to scale effective protocols at speed.  

We are inviting employers, trade unions, and NGOs to collaborate with us. At the same time, we are reaching out to governments to support, stimulate and endorse these efforts. We urge other stakeholders to join forces to enable companies and workers to return to work in a way that is both safe and productive, ensuring security for all.