More Details Added to Reopening Plan
The State has published a somewhat detailed reopening plan, called NY Forward, that opens businesses by regions in phases starting this Friday, May 15th. The list of businesses that will be allowed to reopen in regions that have hit their metrics can be found here and the full details of NY Forward can be found here. The State is also posting up to date data in an interactive dashboard to track progress of each region toward meeting the metrics needed to reopen.
The regions that meet the metrics will be allowed to reopen in phases that will continue based on the data collected at each region’s “control room,” which will be run by local officials. The Regional Control Rooms will be in charge of gauging public health threat levels as people begin to go back to work. Further reopening or reclosing will be determined by these public health metrics. A full list of members who will sit on each Regional Control Room can be found here. Former Ulster County Executive Mike Hein Chairs the Mid Hudson Region.
In response to a question from a reporter Governor Cuomo said the initial 14-day minimum gap between entering phases is preliminary and may be adjusted. That number was chosen because that is the timeline it takes for a possible outbreak to be determined. He said that if testing shows that there is not a rise in positive cases after areas begin to reopen, it is possible he will shorten the window of how long a region must wait.
Put Safety and Employee Communication First
Protecting the workforce is job one for manufacturing facilities resuming operations from a cold start, writes Kweilin Ellingrud of McKinsey & Co. In this analysis, Ellingrud offers a three-part strategy, starting with safety and “a calming and frequent communication strategy from a reliable, central source of truth.”
How Did China’s COVID-19 Shutdown Affect U.S. Supply Chains?
NY Federal Reserve’s Liberty Street Economics research group writes that based on data for the first four months of 2020, U.S. imports from China declined sharply in February and March, before bouncing back in April. The decline was partially offset by growing imports from countries outside of China, such as Vietnam, India, and Bangladesh. Those reliant on China were largely unable to find suppliers in other countries on such short notice. Additionally, large U.S. importers were more likely to continue relationships with their Chinese suppliers during the shutdown than small importers were.
Mexico to Lift Business Restrictions Today
Last night, Mexico’s General Health Council (Consejo de Salubridad General) approved the following four resolutions to allow for the gradual lifting of COVID-19-related restrictions on businesses:
- The addition of the construction, mining and transport manufacturing sectors to the list of essential activities. These sectors are expected to be allowed to re-open on May 18 and transport manufacturing is expected to include the automotive and aerospace sectors, and also cover both OEMs and suppliers.
- Work and school restrictions are lifted for municipalities that have no contagions and are adjacent to municipalities with zero contagions.
- All businesses and establishments will be obliged to apply at-work sanitary measures issued by the Ministries of Health and Labor, and the Mexican Institute for Social Security.
- Starting on June 1, the Ministry of Health will issue a weekly level system for each state. Each level color of the system will allow different economic, education and social activities to operate with different levels of intensity.
Sectors not explicitly included in the list of essential activities would be allowed to operate starting on June 1, opening gradually and subject to region-specific conditions.
Deciding Who To Bring Back to Work? Be Wary of Discrimination Risks
With a limited number of positions to fill, a company should think carefully about who it decides to bring back and about what factors go into making that decision. Imagine selecting someone who has no known health issues over someone that has a known medical condition, or passing over someone older than 60 to rehire someone decades younger.
In deciding who to bring back to work, employers should have objective criteria such as seniority, documented past sales performance, or other factors that may further business goals. Companies should then apply these criteria across the board and properly document the selection process and decisions.
Council of Industry Signs on to the New York State Business Council’s Legislative Memo in Opposition to Workers’ Compensation Occupational Disease Presumption
In part the Memo states: “This proposed legislation represents a drastic change to current state law. It would give a presumption of disability to 100 percent of New York’s private and public sector employees who have contracted COVID-19, thus shifting the cost of these workers’ medical care, lost wages and death benefits to the workers’ compensation system.
A March 27, 2020 legislative analysis issued by the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board projected the cost impact on the state’s workers compensation system to be as high as $31 billion, compared to current annual losses in the state’s workers’ compensation system, including both the insured market and self-insureds, of approximately $8.7 billion.”
Supply Chains Need Scenario Planning, Flexibility
The coronavirus pandemic has emphasized the importance of flexible and nimble supply chains, write Salim Shaikh of Blue Yonder and Ehap Sabri of KPMG. “Access to agile and accurate scenario modeling to understand cash flow, profit and loss, and balance sheet impact has never been more important,” they argue.