COVID_19 4

COVID-19: Developing a business response plan

With government advice in relation to COVID-19 being updated on a daily basis, employees will be aware of the latest developments but will want to know what it means to them in relation to their work.

Developing a response plan means you’ve done all the thinking in advance, so you are able to react appropriately and in a timely manner. This might include changes to working patterns, needing employees to work from home or announcements on next steps should an employee be suspected of having or fall ill with coronavirus.

Developing your coronavirus response plan

To start crafting your response plan you need to consider all possible scenarios relating to COVID-19 that could happen or have an effect on your business. As a starting point, this may include:

A member of staff:

  • Comes into contact with someone suspected of having coronavirus
  • Returns from an infected area
  • Is due to visit affected areas
  • Has been diagnosed with coronavirus
  • Multiple members of staff diagnosed with coronavirus

Depending on your business, there may be additional scenarios to consider. You’ll also need to consider whether changes need to be made to some of your policies, particularly business travel, sick leave and remote working policies.

Identifying capability gaps

For each of your potential scenarios, go back through and identify who would be responsible for coordinating your response to each. If there are any gaps, now is the time to assess what additional resource you might need to manage the particular scenario(s) should they arise.

Covering all eventualities means you’ll feel confident and prepared to manage all coronavirus-related situations that could potentially put your employees and your business at risk.

Next steps

Your coronavirus response team should convene on a daily basis to discuss the latest announcements and whether this affects your current response strategy.

Should any advice to your employees change, communicate and cascade information in the most effective way. This might need to include communications channels you don’t usually use, such as Whatsapp for example.

Making sure you have up-to-date contact details for your workforce and that your planned communication channels are accessible to those who may be working remotely or currently in self-isolation will ensure you can always put your response plan into action and keep employees informed.

For more information on creating a response plan, download our Employer Guide.

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