Downsizing and layoffs are an unfortunate reality of keeping businesses afloat. While it may be necessary at times, downsizing has consequences. One of which is a rise of worker’s comp claims. Staff reduction tends to move people around to new departments with new demands and procedures. This may result in an increase in filed claims greater than that of even a company closure.
While a business owner should never discourage an employee to refrain from filing a workers’ comp claim, it is important to be prepared for false injury reporting and know how to address claims in general. Below are four tips on how to ready yourself for potential workers’ compensation claims when downsizing.
1. Conduct Exit Interviews
It’s extremely common to experience some disgruntled employees after making layoffs. People who have lost their jobs are forced to feel a sudden scramble to find new employment and are under a lot of pressure. However, the best approach to leaving on good terms is to show that disappointment is not mutual. Providing your workers with exit interviews is an appropriate way to chat with them in a civil manner and even allow them to get some things off their chest. It’s also a good idea to use this meeting as a method to honestly ask your worker if he or she has ever experienced an injury on the job. While this can be an uncomfortable question to ask, it is a better method than getting blindsided by a workers’ comp claim out of nowhere.
2. Provide Support
Showing your workers that you still care about them even after an unfortunate layoff or resignation is a professional way to cope with company downsizing. After conducting an exit interview, you can even take it one step further by offering help through an employee assistance program. Investing in a program that offers resume-building strategies and counseling can be extremely beneficial when terminating an employee’s job.
3. Have a Plan
While a situation that requires you to lay off employees may be unplanned, a method for dealing with possible workers’ comp claims doesn’t have to be. Strategizing a plan of action to stay ahead of potential claims will help ease a sense of panic if you do come across one from an employee who is let go. Creating strong and thorough accident reporting policies and clearly communicating that a worker should always report an injury immediately are ethical ways to cover your bases. Workers should be reminded that they have a responsibility to come to their managers if and when an accident occurs. Employee records are also an essential piece of information to reference when faced with a workers’ comp claim. Assigning an employee to keep track of these will assure that any information needed is just a call away.
4. Inform Your Insurance Provider
You don’t want to be caught off guard by a workers’ comp claim, and neither does your insurance provider. At Bikelane we pride ourselves on being on the ball and attentive when it comes to workers’ compensation, but like all insurance providers, we’re not mind readers. Giving your insurance company a head’s up that you will be making cutbacks allows them to reference their own plan of action if a workers’ compensation claim is proposed. By letting your insurance carrier know that you intend to downsize in the future, any claims that may follow will not come as a shock. It will also give your insurance provider plenty of time to gather medical records and conduct a thorough defense strategy. To find out more about Bikelane’s restaurant insurance in NYC, click here.
Again, an employee should always feel comfortable enough to present a workers’ comp claim. While workers are encouraged to be truthful, a claim filed after termination can obviously cause some rightful suspicion. By preparing for any outcome that may arise after laying off employees, the future of your business’ finances and reputation will be in safe hands.