Recession is coming and it may be Nigeria’s worst in several years.

This means by the time the lockdown is finally lifted;many companies would struggle to achieve targets this year.

By International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s estimation, Nigeria’s economy is expected to shrink by 3.4 percent this year and the nation of 200 million people could face a recession lasting until 2021.

“Nigeria’s economy is being threatened by the twin shocks of the

COVID-19 pandemic and the associated sharp fall in international oil prices,” Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the IMF.

Employers are required to provide employees with a place of employment which is free from interference to enable staff carry out their day to day duties.  With the advent of COVID 19, staffs now have to start observing social distancing within the office, sitting arrangement have to be reviewed, use of lifts have to be guided, use of receptions revisited. Procurement contracts of vendors that provide outsourced staff have to be re-visited to ensure that all fraud and legal liabilities are covered and anything that is likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees are addressed.

 

As the transmission of the Corona virus is highly contagious employers now have the responsibility to ensure that working conditions are designed in such a way that staff and customers are kept safe which also translates to making amendments to the contracts and employment agreement on a case basis , thereby making it also the responsibility of the staff whether contract or permanent to keep away from work if they feel unwell and also making it the responsibility of the staff to report issues relating to non-compliance of others.

What to do?

GFF encourages employers to shore up their business continuity plans in the event of another possible Corona virus outbreak in Nigeria. As the duration and severity of the Coronavirus event is undetermined, employers should make short and long-term plans of action. All guidelines from the Governments should be translated into workable solutions to protect the business and staff.

 

What should companies and business do now?

 

  • Anybody that is not feeling well should inform his reporting manager

and stay at home for a period of 14 days if symptoms exhibited are similar to COVID-19.

  • If the nature of the illness results in corona virus the staff

should inform HR so all other staff who have been in contact can be asked to go on isolation or the business is closed whichever one is captured as the process by management.

  • Reiterating good coughing and sneezing etiquette and hand washing,

coupled with the use of masks.

  • Cleaning contracts and security contracts should be reviewed again

to ensure that cleaners working on site also make it a responsibility to report to HR if any of theirstaff has been in contact with a confirmed case or person has contracted COVID -19.

  • Contracts of cleaners and staff should include constantly

disinfecting surfaces, wearing of mask and following all the guidelines of the government.

  • Implement mystery shopping activities as the uncertainty of job

security is high and internal fraud and collusion is on the increase.

  • Ensure background checks for all skilled and unskilled staff

(contract or permanent).  There has to be a mechanism to be able to track any staff for any act of irregularity as this would be on the rise now as people don’t feel and in some cases know that their jobs are not secured.

  • Develop a plan for the use of staff bus, equipments (disinfecting

surfaces of equipment’s) and other transport mediums with a controlled plan and number of people that can be carried with social distancing being monitored by an automated process.

The long-term strategy includes:

  • Develop a security and fraud incident response policy for any

infectious disease outbreak.

  • Carry out a fraud and security audit of the company’s infrastructure

for remote workers, especially reviewing implication of any data been seen by third party.

  • Implement a backup remote plan for taking care of any impact to

supply chain interruptions.

  • What would be the minimum number of people that would allow the

different units to work effectively and how to quickly put backup staff innew places due to a high number of people calling in sick.

Quarantine

In all cases, employers should consider being flexible with sick-time, accrued time off, or other out of office policies, allow workers to use any type of leave available, and prepare for reasonable work remote requests.

Employers should also develop a model that can track the performance of staff working remotely.

 

Working Remotely

 

Just because remote workers may be out of sight, they should not be out of mind. Risk-averse employers or those assessing a long-term work remote strategy may consider implementing solutions that provide ongoing monitoring of their workforce. Through monitoring, employers can help to mitigate risk to their organization from insider threats even if their workers are offsite.

 

Conclusion

 

Counseling all members of staff, physically or online and collecting a signed consent form should become mandatory, as this might be useful when and if regulatory and legal issues arise. It also gives the workers that sense of participation that the employer cares about your welfare and the counseling can help to clear the air on the huge number of fake news spreading in the country and most staff at the moment don’t know what is true or not. Implementing fraud and security reporting mediums have become very necessary taken into consideration the high increase in the number of fraud and irregularities occurring because of people working remotely.

For more information about how to deal with these realities, Call us at Global Fraud Forensics today on +234 8098027322/info@globalfraudforensics.co.uk. We will be happy to help in any way we can.

DISCLAIMER: Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of FraudXpose or any employee thereof.

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