Summary of COVID-19 measures in GAR’s Indonesian operations

Last updated 22 April 2020

As COVID-19 has progressed globally so GAR and its subsidiaries have responded. The policies and measures briefly described below relate specifically to our own operations in Indonesia.

As the disease has escalated in Indonesia through March, so the company has progressively implemented more stringent policies in relation to COVID-19 to both ensure business continuity of our operations and to protect the health and wellbeing of our employees while preventing spread of the disease.

The Indonesian Government recognised the palm oil sector as a strategic industry and therefore we remain operational. Palm oil is also an essential ingredient for many key products in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus – such as soaps and hand sanitisers – as well as a food staple as cooking oil, margarine and an ingredient in other basics such as noodles. Therefore, we anticipate no job displacements at this time.

In all of GAR’s operations worldwide, we are guided by national regulation and advice, as well as taking into account WHO and other best practice recommendations.

You can find below a summary of the practices implemented in our plantations, mills and refineries. This list is not exhaustive and does not include CSR related programmes in the surrounding communities of our estates, for example.

Policy or Measure Notes
Communication of company policies and health information
  • New policies and SOPs issued via email.
  • Prior to email new policies and SOPs socialised to Heads of Department (HoD) via virtual conferencing. HoD have responsibility to cascade to teams.
  • In office environments, posters, digital signage, desktop wallpapers and other notices reminded people of good hygiene practices, COVID-19 symptoms and what to do if you suspect infection.
  • Where operations are outside of office environments, posters, sign boards (for estates) as well as WhatsApp and mobile technology are being deployed.
  • Morning musters, incorporating social distancing (see below) are used to remind people of good hygiene etc.
Restricting access to operations
  • Only essential personnel are allowed on site.
  • Access to estates is being restricted at borders/boundary gates and security personnel guided on how to deter outside visitors.
  • No external visitors allowed, unless for emergency reasons or previously approved.
  • All visitors subject to temperature screening and travel disclosures at a minimum.
  • Internal visits and travel discouraged unless deemed essential and signed off at the highest level (see Use of technology below).
Team segregation
  • A/B team splits in place.
  • Teams cannot be in direct contact and are discouraged from socialising.
  • Team segregation is currently applied at refineries.
Enhanced cleaning measures
  • Enhanced cleaning of common areas, offices, canteens or pantry areas including disinfection of heavy use areas including elevators for example.
  • Provision of additional soap and hand sanitiser to support good personal hygiene at work.
Temperature checks and health screening at work Daily temperature screening. Employees with fever or other COVID-19 symptoms are not allowed to work, are to visit the nearest medical facility and report the outcome to their direct supervisors. The employee is to also report the names of their family members who live under one roof.  

Additional medical staff – doctors and paramedics – have been made available at refineries and other operational sites.

Handling COVID-19 symptoms at work 

  • Employees that show any one of the COVID-19 symptoms such as: body temperature above 37.5 degrees Celsius, cough, cold, shortness of breath, or sore throat is to visit standby doctor/paramedic for further diagnosis and treatment. If the employee shows strong symptoms of COVID-19 and has past encounter with a COVID-19 patient, then there will be further arrangement for pick up to the nearest designated hospital in the related city by calling emergency contact 119.
  • If the doctor’s diagnosis states that it is a normal fever, then the employee to proceed further examination to the medical facility and conduct 14-days self-isolation at home.
  • Working areas where COVID-19 suspected employees have been will be closed for disinfection. Other employees in the same group are to immediately leave the working area.
Guidance for employees with COVID-19 symptoms at home
  • Employees who suspect infection or have symptoms are not to come to work, and encouraged to contact their local medical centre or doctor and follow instructions.
  • The employee should advise their superior and keep the company updated on the outcome of any medical assessment and treatment.
Business travel
  • All business travel is suspended.
  • In exceptional circumstances, approval would be required from the relevant HoD, HR and CEO.
  • This includes travel within and outside of Indonesia.
  • Mandatory 14-days self-quarantine/work from home imposed for those who have travelled.
Personal travel
  • Personal travel is strongly discouraged.
  • Those who wish to travel must consult with HR and their relevant supervisor, prior to travel.
  • If travel is unavoidable and agreed to by management, a 14-days mandatory self-quarantine/work from home is imposed.
  • Those who travel despite instructions not to may be subject to disciplinary action.
  • The company is exploring options especially in light of Hari Raya to provide incentives to encourage employees NOT to return to their home village for this important holiday.
  • The Indonesian Government is also exploring how to manage the Hari Raya period in order to avoid mass travel across the country.
Social distancing
  • The workforce is instructed to work in accordance with social distancing requirements.
  • Socialising is discouraged.
Use of technology
  • The company has had to move rapidly to allow work from home and to look at ways to automate functions that have required on the ground visits or other team working.
  • Use of technology including Zoom, Skype for Business and other VOIP for meetings, e-learning approaches to continue training including outreach to suppliers and communities (where infrastructure allows) is being actively explored and developed.
Encouraging good health
  • Access to health information and socialisation about the virus, how it spreads and the importance of good personal hygiene.
  • Provision of soap, sanitiser and face masks to employees.
  • Provision of Vitamin C, and other supplements to promote strong immune systems.
  • Healthier food options are also being provided in canteens.