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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure CY-2020-11/1606 – measures in Cyprus

New technologies in Alpha-Mega Hypermarkets for health and safety

Νέες τεχνολογίες για την ασφάλεια και υγεία στις υπεραγορές Άλφα-Μέγα

Country Cyprus , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 10 March 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Company practices
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Occupational health and safety
Author Loucas Antoniou (INEK) and Eurofound
Measure added 17 December 2020 (updated 29 January 2021)

Background information

In addition to the health and safety protocols of the Ministry of Health for supermarkets, Alpha-Mega Hypermarket (AMH) issued its own COVID-19 protocol that takes advantage of new technologies to prevent the further spread of the virus and protect employees and customers. The protocol put into place in March 2020 and amended in autumn with the increasing of positive cases infected by the virus.

Content of measure

Alpha-Mega Hypermarkets (AMH) health and safety protocol, among others, takes advantage of technology by introducing a social distancing shopping system that intents to minimize, to the extent possible, interactions between and among customers and employees. Firstly, AMH installed a new self-checkout system in all stores around the Island in order to control checkout lines and provide an alternative option for customers seeking to avoid interactions. Secondly, a new auto-counting system have been placed, which counts and controls the number of customers into the stores.

Τhirdly, an electrostatic disinfection system has been also introduced; the system helps and speeds the disinfection process of trolleys, counters and common areas. Fourthly, a COVID-19 management unit has been appointed in order to supervise the implementation of the health and safety measures by employees and suppliers and to take care of positive COVID-19 cases among employees. Finally, AMH in cooperation with an online food delivery company ‘Foody’ and in order to improve customer’s services and avoid crowding of its stores is offering online ordering and delivery shopping.

Use of measure

There is no estimation of workers and customers benefited by AMH protocol. Taken, however, that ΑΜΗ is one of the biggest chains of supermarkets in the country owning sixteen stores in all major cities and employing 1700 person, it is expected that the measures of the protocol will contribute widely for the protection of employees, customers and suppliers and the further spread of the virus in the community.

It seems that ΑΜΗ technological innovation safety measures are positively impacting the company. The use of the technologies in the stores is common and the feedback that customers and employees provide is very positive. As a result, AMH has been awarded with the global ‘CIO 100 Awards’ on the use of innovation technologies among them the self- checkouts, introduced for COVID-19, Electronic Shelf Labels και Digital Screens.

Contents

  • Health and safety

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Particular professions
Does not apply to businesses Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Company / Companies
Companies

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Company level

Involvement

This is an inter-company practice which was designed by Alpha-Mega Hypermarkets alone and no social partners have involved in any consultation processes. AMH is implementing and monitoring its own protocol, which was issued based on the first protection measures of the Ministry of Health.

Views and reactions

No particular views or reactions from social partners have been identified in the press in relation to this the particular practice. However, the Pancyprian Association of Hypermarkets (PA.SY.PE) encourages its members to apply and implement protection measures and follow the guidelines and the protocols of Ministry of Health in relation to the prevention of the spread of the virus.

Sectors and occupations

This case is not sector-specific.

    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Sales workers

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), New technologies in Alpha-Mega Hypermarkets for health and safety, measure CY-2020-11/1606 (measures in Cyprus), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/CY-2020-11_1606.html

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