The recent protests in Hong Kong are making headlines worldwide and also prompting challenging circumstances for global employers. Within the last three months, mass demonstrations and an increased level of protests have led to arrests, road closures, blockades at the airport and train stations, and concerns about safe travel. This in turn has triggered delays and suspensions of business trips. Many multinationals have a presence in the region, with over 850,000 US expats located in Hong Kong, in addition to the many local hires as well.
How Global Employers Can Respond
Companies are often faced with emergency situations such as these around the world, including disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism, natural disasters and political unrest. A common question that global employers need to assess is whether the situation warrants evacuation of key personnel or expatriate staff. It is critical that global employers proactively consider how they may respond in the midst of an urgent event. Having an updated, and well-practiced, emergency preparedness strategy and business continuity plan can help mitigate these disruptions and save companies time and money in the process. Working with your risk management team to understand how the needs of employees are addressed in the emergency preparedness plan is important. Be ready with a plan in advance so that when the time comes you know what to implement.
Questions to consider include:
- What activities are essential to business operations and which employees are necessary to allow these to continue?
- What specific processes will the company follow in the event of a localized or global event?
- How will we communicate with employees and/or dependents?
- Under what circumstances is the supply chain reliable/unreliable?
- How can the company support employees during and after emergency?
- Do local resources exist to support corporate emergency preparedness efforts?
- How will employees be evacuated to a safe area if necessary?
- Who will be included in any evacuation – Expatriates only? Expatriates & locals?
- What will be required by local public health and law enforcement agencies?
Related Business Group Resources
- The Next Global Pandemic: What Employers Need to Know
- Crisis Communications: Employer Resources
- Employee Health Screening
- Liberalizing Leave Policies
- Public Health Partnerships
- Emergency Preparedness and Terrorism Response
- Crisis Management Protocol
- Employer Resources for Pandemic Preparedness
- Global Employee Assistance Programs