Safe Workplace Amid COVID-19
Two years into the pandemic, COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc across the world. Border control is still in place and international travel is still restricted. Be it the business or personal front, human lives have suffered at an unprecedented scale. Corporations around the world are examining this capricious environment closely and pondering the next move to survive and thrive in an international trade system that had been overly reliant on globalization.
Information disclosed reflects data collected from the reporting year.
FENC regards the human resources as paramount. In the fight against COVID-19, the Company has implemented measures to protect valuable human capitals while complying with governmental policies and international conditions regarding the pandemic. FENC has established anti-pandemic policies and supporting measures meeting the local conditions at FENC sites, providing workplace that offers timely assistance and safety. The Company extends care and warmth to the entire staff and their family members, providing various subsidies and assistance to help them strive at work and continue to grow and proper with FENC.
FENC monitors the COVID-19 pandemic and responds with agility. The following are measures taken:
The Company has been implementing the remote work model since 2020. In May 2021, the government issued the level 3 COVID-19 alert. As a response, the Company switched to working from home to keep the employees from contracting the virus. In addition, the Company split the shifts with flexible working hours to reduce the risk of infection during commute or clustering. Anti-pandemic leaves were provided in accordance with government regulations. The above measures have effectively protected the health of staff and their families while allowing the Company to maintain its business operation.
The Company reduced unnecessary movement among different units. Conferences were conducted through video conferencing or plastic dividers were set up for in-person meetings. The staff canteen offered individual lunch boxes and seating arrangement to reduce contact and improve safety.
The Company established the mobile health care system in 2020. All employees may report personal health conditions and the health of their family members through computers and mobile devices. Pandemic-related information issued by the government is also updated immediately through the system to provide convenience for staff. In 2021, the daily reporting rate averaged over 95%.
FENC encourages staff to be vaccinated to increase the vaccination coverage and protection. As of March 30, 2022, the vaccination rate for the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine reached 98%, and the second reached 96%. To encourage staff to receive the third dose, the Company provided gift certificates from the Far Eastern Department Stores as an incentive beginning in March 2022.
Percentage of Employees Vaccinated at FENC Sites
Note: The data collection period ended on December 31, 2021.
Note: The data collection period ended on May 30, 2022.
FENC provides face masks to employees regularly. As of March 2022, the Company has provided a total of 8.03 million face masks among its global sites. For employees at higher risks of exposure, the Company provides face shields and goggles. Before the Chinese New Year began in 2022, the Company provided 4,340 testing kits for employees to conduct self-tests prior to returning from the holiday season. The test results for all who took the test were negative. The measure has helped employees protect themselves as well as others.
To stay in line with Migrant Work, Life, and Travel Management Precautions issued by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in June 2021, FENC implemented strict rules to safeguard the health of foreign employees and help strengthen the anti-pandemic implementations at the production line to maintain employee health, workplace safety and corporate operation.
The following measures were implemented during the pandemic:
The Company took body temperature, provided rubbing alcohol at sanitizing points and promoted pandemic control awareness.
The Company issued face masks regularly with strict rules on the mask mandate.
Public facilities such as the basketball court, lounge and gym were temporarily closed. Work areas were sanitized regularly.
Split operation was implemented. Employees riding on company shuttles must be documented. Independent entrances were set up at the dormitories. Bathrooms were separated into different zones.
Designated employees were responsible for shopping for the residents in the dormitory with goods sent in one delivery to reduce the risk of infection during shopping and clustering.
Plastic dividers were set up at the staff canteen. Talking during dining hours was prohibited. When the pandemic grew severe, dining at the canteen was not permitted and lunch boxes were provided instead.
The Company prepared individual rooms for each quarantined employee to facilitate timely emergency response.
The Company established a health care platform designated for migrant workers, who could utilize the system to report health conditions. The system notified the supervisor or manager automatically when migrant workers experience discomfort, making it beneficial for monitoring their health. The system received over 90% of daily responses.
The Company promoted the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. In January 2022, over 90% of the employees had received 2 doses of the vaccines.
The Company conducted plant-wide COVID testing for over 800 migrant workers in June 2021 and January 2022. All test results were negative.
In June 2021, Taiwan experienced a large surge in COVID-19 cases among migrant workers in Hsinchu and Miaoli. FENC sites in Taiwan implemented a plan to provide COVID-19 screening for migrant workers. Considering the highly contageous nature of the Omicron variant and large traffic volumes during the hoiday season, the Company conducted another screening for the migrant workers after the Chinese New Year in 2022 to comply with the policies set forth by Central Epidemic Command Center and the labor departments in the counties and municipalities. A total of 849 employees completed the screening.
FENC has nearly 400 expat employees stationing worldwide. Due to the risks involved in international travel and time costs during the pandemic, they are unable to use vacation days to visit families back home. To show the Company’s gratitude for their hard work and devotion, and for their families’ kind understanding, the Company has prepared multiple care and assistance programs.
First, the Company compiled a quick guide on international travel during the pandemic. The guide consolidated border control measures and pandemic alerts around the world; application process for out-of-pocket COVID-19 screening and list of hospitals; regulations on home quarantine/isolation. The guide served as a warm gesture to take care of employee health and to ease their worries during uncertain times.
Second, the Company provided official leaves for 50% of the period expat employees spend on quarantine when traveling between Taiwan and the country in which they station. The Company also helped lessening expat employees’ burden by reimbursing a high percentage of the fees incurred for the quarantine hotel, screening and quarantine taxi.
Third, the Company established a 3-stage health management scheme for expat employees. The 3 stages encompass physical discomfort; confirmed infection; transfer home. The protection measures and procedures are clearly laid out under different scenarios. The Company also increased the medical coverage with insurance policies ranging from NT$1 to 3 million based on the stationed region. In addition, the Company ensured that the insurance policy covered the cost of air ambulance to eliminate all concerns to help employees concentrate on work.
Lastly, as a token of appreciation for the expat employees who stationed at their posts during the pandemic, and for their families’ thoughtful understanding for FENC, employees received a payout for any unused vacation days, and gift certificates were presented to the family members.
- The employee shall seek medical treatment in accordance with local regulations.
- The employee shall call for emergency assistance for medical treatment.
- The emergency assistance may provide medical consultation, help book doctor’s appointments and arrange for hospitalization.
- Medical interpretation is provided over the phone.
- The employee is referred for necessary medical treatment and transferred back to Taiwan for evaluation.
When the following conditions apply, assistance will be provided to transfer the employee back to Taiwan.
- It is necessary for the employee to receive medical treatment in Taiwan.
- The employee’s physical conditions allow such transfer.
- Both countries allow international travel.
For the overseas FENC sites, corresponding measures were taken to comply with local pandemic prevention policies, including working from home, vaccination, face masks and social distancing.
In July 2021, the Vietnamese government mandated the “3 on-site” policy. That is, plant employees must temporarily work, eat and sleep on-site in order to continue the operation. FENC’s sites in Vietnam provided full support for the employees, including free meals, accommodation, hot water and laundry facilities, offering safe work environment, ensuring employee health and maintaining uninterrupted operation.
The plant also offered as much as an additional 54% of daily wages as bonuses for employees who were working on-site. Employees who stayed home also received minimum wages.
In 2021, Vietnam braced the impact of COVID-19. The pandemic control team at FEPV exercised strategic foresight with preventative measures that helped weave a web of protective shield that kept the production and even the expansion plan running. In addition to preparing various anti-pandemic supplies, the plant conducted COVID testing for 20% of the employees. The plant also rented nearly 300 dormitories at short notice for employees who lived in areas deemed as high risk by the authority or who came into contact with infected employees to reduce movement. Additionally, the plant established quarantine zones within the plant that were certified by the authority to provide a safe haven for employees who contracted COVID-19 or contacted those who were infected and to provide emotional support.
Between July and November, the peak of the pandemic, FEPV complied with the “3 on-site” mandate from the Vietnamese government – on-site production, eating and sleeping. The plant arranged for the entire staff stationing at the plant to receive the PCR testing to prevent cluster infection. At a time when most factories had to close down the operation, FEPV was able to remain operating at over 80% capacity, demonstrating professionalism in this remarkable performance of pandemic control.
FENC has provided solid support throughout the process. In early July, the Company launched the procurement project at the headquarters in Taipei and delivered 10,000 COVID-19 testing kits to Vietnam within 10 days. The gesture provided the FENC sites in Vietnam the assistance they need to stabilize production and operation amid the strict border lockdown and pandemic control.
In July 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in Bình Dương Province, Vietnam. To comply with the governmental policy, over 90% of the employees had to temporarily discontinue their work. Between July and September 2021, FEAV provided living stipends for 3,189 employees who suffered a loss of income due to this mandate. FEAV also provided vitamins for 3,500 employees to help boost their immune system and safeguard their health. This is a show of support and care from FEAV to improve their sense of well-being.