COVID-19 – Post-lockdown Business Checklist for Employers & Business Owners
The Coronavirus pandemic has led to a lot of uncertainty for business owners in all sectors. With the situation, and the guidance surrounding it, regularly and rapidly changing, it can be difficult to know what your next best move is to see your business and your employees protected.
DRN’s expert HR and Employment Law solicitors have compiled a checklist of the things you should consider, helping you to protect the company you have built and ensure your business can bounce back now that we’ve begun to see some degree of normality returning.
Crunch the numbers
Try to spend some time analysing your workflow, particularly with consideration to any business that may have been lost back when lockdown was first implemented. Now may be a good time to revisit clients and customers that you were working with and catch up with them – find out how they might have been affected by the pandemic and brainstorm some strategies for how you can work together and see each other benefit.
Planning ahead is key. Whilst you’re thinking of resuming trade, it’s a good idea to review and examine your company’s cashflow figures. From this, you should try to produce a forecast which is informed by the existing numbers, including a joined-up, interactive profit and loss balance (often referred to as a three-way forecast).
Put your management head on
A level-headed management attitude, backed up with reliable information, will be crucial to producing an effective lockdown exit strategy. As the situation is constantly changing, it’s important that you remain agile in your thinking. Try to stay open-minded when it comes to considering possible new directions and pathways.
Always consider your staff
Be sure to welcome staff back only when it is safe to do so. Staff for whom it may be unsafe to return to the workplace should be allowed to work from home where possible.
Before issuing a return to work, it has been made mandatory for all employers to conduct a risk assessment of the workplace and make the results available to all employees, along with an action plan outlining the safety measures that will be put into place to minimise any risks that have been identified.
For those whose businesses may not immediately be able to return to operate at full capacity, the Government has recently announced that its Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be available for furloughed employees until October, so this may offer another option to help you protect staff jobs and livelihoods until the business is back on its feet.
Whilst the lockdown has been a difficult period for many of us, finding the positives as much as we can has been key to getting us through it. And, even though there is now a light at the end of the tunnel, focussing on the positives and making sure to use all available resources is still a great business attitude to adopt.
The recent pandemic has had an impact on every aspect of our lives – the way we work, eat, sleep, earn money, spend time with our family, shop, exercise and spend our downtime has all changed as a result of COVID-19 and the social distancing guidelines. This may have opened up and left room for new gaps in the market to be explored. It might be that new competitive advantages for your business have been brought to light as a result of recent events – just because we’re slowly but surely seeing a return to normality, it doesn’t mean those opportunities which have recently opened have to close.
Making an investment into your internal and external communication strategy would not be a bad move at this stage. When returning to work, it’s critical that everyone in the business knows what is expected of them, and that the safety parameters within which they should be working are made clear from the offset. As a part of your communication strategy, it’s vital that you consider the return to work guidance which has been published by the Government, conduct a thorough risk assessment for your workplace and apply safety measures and precautions where necessary, and continue to take on board any concerns your team(s) may have.
DRN’s specialist HR and Employment Law team are dedicated to providing sound, reliable business advice that you can trust. For more information surrounding best business practices in the current climate, please contact a member of our team on 01282 433241.