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  • Writer's pictureMSI Marketing

Is Your Talent Strategy Aligned With Duty Of Care Obligations?

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

This Article Is Authored By MSI Global Talent Solutions

The pandemic has shifted how Employers think about workforce strategies. How do you ensure your talent strategy is aligned with Duty of Care?

The pre-pandemic workforce has always included on-site, hybrid, remote, and contingent workers. Employers used this mix in a flexible manner to attract and retain top talent. But due to the pandemic, where work is done and/or how it is done is now being highly scrutinized. The resulting shift in talent acquisition and retention strategies has driven many Employers into a chasm. Which team do you use, when, and why? Creating policies focused on Duty of Care is no longer a nice to have but a must-have, with mandatory incorporations of CDC, OSHA, and Worker’s Compensation regulations required.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control)

From a CDC perspective, returning to work in a clean environment is core to employee safety. Each employee group highlighted above is affected differently yet all interact together.

General Guidelines: the virus that causes COVID-19 and its variants can land on surfaces. People may become infected if they touch those surfaces and then touch their nose, mouth, or eyes. While the risk of infection from touching a surface is low, the recommendation is to regularly wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces can also reduce the risk of infection.

  • On-Site Employees: The above guidelines become particularly important for employees who have returned or are planning to return to work. Additional steps to ensure safety:

    • Follow standard practices and regulations of the company’s facilities for cleaning and disinfection.

    • Cleaning once a day may be appropriate, but only if no one has been confirmed or suspected of COVID-19.

    • Disinfecting (using the EPA list of disinfects) kills germs to further reduce the risk of spreading infection.

    • Shared spaces may require more frequency of cleaning and disinfection, particularly if the space is a high-traffic area.

  • Hybrid and Remote Workers

    • Hybrid workers entering the office should follow the same On-Site guidelines.

    • Hybrid and Remote workers should follow similar cleaning guidelines while working at home or another location to minimize the chances of spreading the virus when entering the local office.

  • Contingent Workers

    • This group typically works from “anywhere.” They can be a mix of on-site, hybrid, and remote and can work in varying countries or states depending on the Employer's need.

    • Due to their working variability with the potential to be on-site, CDC guidelines should be in effect or use the equivalent local country guidelines.

Worker’s Compensation

Worker’s Compensation is an important factor in addressing Duty of Care. Below are some general guidelines to consider for remote at-home workers.

Does an at-home injury qualify for workers’ compensation? If you answer yes to any of these questions, it is likely it does.

  • Was the employee performing a work-related task or otherwise benefitting the employer when he or she was injured?

  • Was the employee performing a work-related task or otherwise benefitting the employer when he or she was injured?

    • Did the Employer approve of the activity that led to the injury in advance?

  • What can Employers do to minimize their potential exposure to workers’ compensation?

    • Affirm the obligation of the employee to keep home-based work areas free of hazards.

    • Conduct a safety checklist review with photos of the home-based work area.

    • Reserve the right to conduct safety check-ins to inspect the homework environment.

    • Require the employees to allow and cooperate in any post-injury investigations.

      • Remind employees of their obligation to report all work injuries promptly.

      • Document the injury in a complete manner.

      • Allow access to the employer for any reasonable post-injury investigation.

    • Thoroughly investigate all reported injuries.

Developing a Duty of Care Policy

Threading the needle across the CDC, OSHA, and Worker’s Compensation is essential for the groups to work together harmoniously and within policy.

Employees should have a reasonable expectation that their employer has their best interests at the forefront of their work environment strategies and decisions. A “Duty of Care” means assuming responsibility for people’s health, safety, and wellbeing. Protecting employees’ welfare regardless of their location and emphasizing the significance of that care means safe physical work environments and comply with appropriate industry standards and statutory safety regulations.

Incorporating Duty of Care into your Talent Strategies and workforce planning shows the significance you place on your talent. The more definitive you are, the more your employees will align with your expectations and support your goals.


MSI is an expert in Duty of Care programs. Let our senior advisory team support you in the design and development of a Duty of Care Policy and Program that incorporates key government regulations to increase your Talent Optimization goals.

For more information, please contact MSI – at


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