The full impact of the Coronavirus is yet to be understood with guidance ever changing and being updated regularly. Many countries are now in compulsory lockdown or facing travel restrictions and with so many information sources, how do you know what to do for the best? Here’s a brief summary particularly aimed at smaller businesses.
Firstly, the government websites should be your primary source of guidance and here’s the links to a quick summary of the latest advice from UK, IOM, Jersey and Guernsey Governments:
- UK – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-guidance-for-households-with-possible-covid-19-infection
- IOM – https://www.gov.im/coronavirus#accordion
- JERSEY – https://www.gov.je/Health/Coronavirus/Pages/CoronavirusInformation.aspx
- GUERNSEY – https://www.gov.gg/coronavirus
If you’re a little unsure about how this will affect your business and your employees, here’s some things that you should consider doing:-
Appoint a dedicated COVID-19 Co-ordinator
Appoint someone in your organisation to check your local government website regularly and communicate updates and useful information to the rest of the business. The various government websites provide an array of useful information, guidance and posters which can be downloaded for use in your workplace.
Guidance should be provided by the co-ordinator on:
- the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 – what it is
- how to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections including COVID-19
- what to do if someone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in business settings
- what advice to give to individuals who have travelled to specific areas
- actions to take if staff come into contact with someone who is self-isolating or is a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19.
Don’t be afraid to use material from other government websites in addition to your local one and the more official information people have, the better.
Employee/Employer specific information
There’s a lot of information and news which explains the situation with calling in sick, confirming to employers when people are self isolating and sick pay. The links below have been issued by the UK government specifically for employers/employees and give a good overview of the situation. Always check your local government website, given that there are different arrangements across jurisdictions:
Refer to and review your Business continuity plans
If you have a business continuity plan, you should have some contingency mapped out which should help you to manage your operations in the event of reduced resources due to staff sickness absence or any travel restrictions which could be imposed by the government. Think about:-
- Working from home or working conditions with limited contact with other colleagues
- Re-deployment – if you are not able to carry on normal business, are there other work which can be done by employees?
- How will your business be affected long term if you have to close?
If you do have to close your place of business at short notice or find other ways to operate, do make sure to have a plan in place on how you will keep in touch with your staff during this time.
Consider Staff Welfare and the Emotional impact
If the virus does spread and your employees are personally affected, it’s important to make sure they have the right ongoing support. They may be dealing with any of the following:-
- Loss of loved ones or loss of work colleagues
- Relationship problems brought on by the stresses of being isolated with or without family members for a period of time
- Redundancy due to an adverse impact on your business
- Financial issues due to absence from work
Now is a good time to seek out professionals such as experienced HR Consultants who can give you confidential, balanced and expert advice to help you plan for any potential impact.
Get in touch with Counsellors to discuss how they can help people to come to terms with the losses associated with Death, divorce, relationships breaking down, health issues and financial issues and resolve their grief quickly.
Finally, make sure to follow all the guidance and protect yourself as well as you can during the course of the pandemic.
I’m pleased to advise that there will be no disruption to my services, as I will be working from home as normal and remain fully available via telephone, e-mail, messaging or video conferencing. Contact me via email@example.com; via linked in our facebook. Don’t forget to visit my website www.positivesolutionshr.com.