As the pandemic Coronavirus takes hold over our lives, it’s essential to ensure that your business has put in place the necessary policies and procedures to safeguard your staff and clients and your business. People are feeling anxious, scared and stressed with the high degree of uncertainty about what the impacts might be for them and their families. Being proactive and implementing a strategy for your business is the first step to assisting employees to feel more in control during this time of uncertainty.
With human activity being severely constrained, the threat to businesses both large and small is likely. In European countries, shops, restaurants, bars, movie theatres and the like have been shut for the time being. Currently in Australia, events catering for over 500 people have been postponed but it’s likely that even without directives that families will prepare for ‘lockdown’ by isolating themselves from usual activities.
Here are the recommended approaches for businesses in the face of COVID-19:
- Keep up to date with relevant information on COVID-19
As information is being updated regularly, ensure that you monitor the World Health Organisation website and the Department of Health website for up to date information and what this means for your business.
- Provide information to employees about health and safety in the workplace
Employers have a duty under WHS/OHS legislation to provide information to employees about health and safety in the workplace. This information should be consistent with information provided by the Department of Health and WHO. This should include the current status of the virus in Australia to ensure that employees have accurate information and advice on hygiene practices for work and home.
- Develop a COVID-19 policy and procedure for your workplace
The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry have a comprehensive guide for employers including understanding the risks to your workplace, employer obligations, developing working from home policies, changing or scaling down operations as well as business shut down procedures. Your workplace policy and procure plan should be up-to-date with the status of the virus in Australia. This guide is an excellent place to start in developing these documents for your business.
- Keep on top of your financial statements
This will enable clear decision making based on where your business is currently at with regards to income and expenses.
- Understand possible impacts on your business
Speaking to suppliers, customers and staff will help you understand what possible future impacts of COVID-19 will have on your business. This might include sales, staff availability, supply chain and finance. By modelling different scenarios, you will be in the best position to understand the impacts if these situations should arise.
Should your business require assistance with developing a COVID-19 policy for your business, speak to the HR Consulting team at Flexi Personnel.