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Article | Global News Briefs

Global: Worldwide response to COVID-19

Health and Benefits|Retirement|Wellbeing
COVID 19 Coronavirus

April 30, 2020

Temporary measures to address COVID-19 worldwide continue to grow and evolve. Willis Towers Watson is your guide to managing through the crisis.

Employer Action Code: Act

Governments around the world have introduced temporary measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The nature and extent of such measures vary by country and continue to evolve. They include:

  • Furlough of employees, with governments meeting some of the cost of wages during the furlough period (including pension contributions in certain instances)
  • Measures relating to sickness/disability benefits, health care, childcare, job protection, unemployment benefits and leave/time off
  • Suspension or deferral of social security contributions and certain corporate taxes
  • Permitting employees to make in-service withdrawals from retirement benefits/savings
  • Permitting companies to defer contributions/suspend employee contributions to defined contribution retirement plans
  • Easing of funding requirements for defined benefit retirement plans in certain countries

Insurance providers are responding with measures, including:

  • Clarification of whether COVID-19 is covered on health and life insurance policies and what conditions may apply (e.g., if an additional premium is required)
  • Global and country-specific policies to provide assistance in case of COVID-19 hospitalization
  • Introduction of telemedicine, apps and other employee assistance program-type support to existing policies
  • Considerations of continuation of cover for furloughed and/or laid-off employees

To support our clients, Willis Towers Watson has:

  • Created pages on our website dedicated to COVID-19 topics for many countries (see list on the right)
  • Developed roadmaps to outline:
    • Three stages of the pandemic: managing through the crisis, restoring stability and operating post-crisis
    • Actions that protect, preserve and create human capital value for the first two stages
  • Prepared a guidebook to help work through both tactical and strategic actions to take in different disciplines of human capital across each of the three stages of this pandemic

Please contact your Willis Towers Watson contact for help across the world or email us here.

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