During the Covid-19 crisis, frontline operations employees diligently turned up for work at our cement plants and ready-mix Facilities. As our operations employees are paid by the hour, when they are absent from work due to illness, they normally receive sick pay at a rate of two-thirds of their normal pay once a certain period has passed. This means that, even if they were experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, operations employees might have preferred to risk their personal health and continue to come to work to avoid suffering financially.
Therefore, we needed to take steps to provide support to our people to minimize the impact of Covid-19 on their heath and to minimize the effects of the coronavirus on their income.
- We implemented an emergency sick and quarantine pay protocol that provides sick pay to those diagnosed as positive with Covid-19 and those that the company has quarantined due to the potential of exposure with somebody with the virus.
- We worked with our short-term sick pay provider in order to establish this new protocol for those impacted by the coronavirus.
- We were able to ask those identified as potentially exposed, either at work or at home, to stay away from work without financial penalty, thus protecting their colleagues in Titan America.
- We negotiated with the medical plan insurer to ensure that it, and not our employees, bore the cost of Covid-19 tests. This motivated employees to take tests at no cost to themselves and helped us maintain tight control on contact tracing around Covid-19.
- We established with our medical plan providers a 24/7 nurse hotline and website that provides advice to employees who had Covid-19-related symptoms. We also ensured that all employees had access to the company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to help especially with the psychological and financial impacts of Covid-19.
Our efforts to provide emergency sick and quarantine pay and EAP medical benefits received very positive employee feedback. In addition, we were able to limit the spread of Covid-19 when we identified an employee who had tested positive. Finally, and very importantly, we have been able to continue operations in our plants throughout the lockdown and to provide our customers with our products.