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Antigua: Ayre Group pioneers ‘social distancing’ policy to combat COVID-19

More than 100 employees of the Ayre Group have been told to work from home as the company – headed by Canadian billionaire Calvin Ayre – implements strategies to fend off the coronavirus.

The firm – headquartered at Canada Place in Woods – is taking the lead in the private sector, by enforcing a group-wide social-distancing, work-from-home policy, amid COVID-19’s global spread.

The coronavirus has had a significant socio-economic impact worldwide since its inception and has escalated drastically, affecting both the public and private sector. In severe cases across the world, employees have been placed on unpaid leave, had their contracts suspended and even been laid off, as businesses struggle to cope with the impact of the virus.

The Ayre Group, however, is striving to both adhere to international health regulations and support its staff during the crisis. In a media release yesterday, the group explained that the policy will allow employees to work remotely – given their duties enable them to do so – in “protecting the health and well-being of the employees operating in the building”.

The company’s media relations specialist, Jamilla Kirwan, explained how the decision was made.

“We have the capabilities, within our group, to work from home. I know that not many companies have that kind of option and so, I’m sure that many people are trying to figure out how they’re going to manage staffing, children being home and that sort of thing.

“A lot of our work, obviously, is electronic. You know, we’re on emails [and] if we need a meeting, we do video-conferencing and so, we’re basically just encouraging anyone who has that kind of capability to do the same,” she explained.

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