17 Mar, 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is on the minds of many businesses at the moment. We are only in the early stages of the outbreak and many SMEs are already feeling the effects. Some businesses have already reported a reduction in turnover due to a lack of customers/rise in cancellations and a lack of materials from other countries such as China. So, what is the government doing to help businesses like you and how can you minimise your risks?
What is Coronavirus (Covid-19)?
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways, caused by a virus known as coronavirus. It can cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) but as it was only discovered in 2019, we are still learning about it.
The Government are now advising anyone experiencing a fever or continuous cough to self-isolate for 7 days.
Further information can be found on the NHS website.
What are the Government doing to support businesses?
Last week Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a £30bn package to boost the economy, £12bn of which will be specifically targeted at coronavirus measures. This included £5bn for the NHS in England and £7bn for businesses and workers across the UK. On Tuesday 17th March, the Chancellor pledged more funds to help support the UK economy through the coronavirus pandemic.
We have come across a really useful podcast from Hybrid Legal Limited which answers employers most popular questions regarding your legal responsibilities, changes to SSP, working parents, planning advice and cost savings.
Guidance for employees, employers and businesses are constantly changing. You can stay up to date here.
What can you do to reduce your risk?
The uncertainty can make it difficult to plan ahead but it’s not too late to put together a Business Continuity Plan. This plan sets out how the business will operate following an incident and how it expects to return to ‘business as usual’ in the quickest possible time. Some things you can be doing now include:
Full information on healthcare advice for employers and support for businesses can be found on the Government website here.
Don’t bury your head in the sand…
It is almost certain that cash flow is going to be affected and either an overdraft will become necessary or your current overhead will come under pressure and therefore do not bury your head in the sand.
We all have a shared responsibility in the fight against coronavirus. Follow the advice…
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