Our head of corporate law, Rob Moore, provides business owners and managers with some sound advice on how to minimise the risk and disruption Coronavirus is causing…
The Covid-19 outbreak is resulting in significant confusion for businesses, large and small. How exactly should you manage this unprecedented crisis?
Whilst most of you will have some form of continuity, disaster recovery or serious incident plan in place, there are various practical risks for most firms resulting from the pandemic, including:
It is your duty to protect the health and safety of your employees. This means making clear your policy on absenteeism – when should staff not come into the workplace? You also need to provide clear guidance on quarantine, suspension, self-isolation and pay. You can read our guidance for employers to consider here.
Supply chain and commercial risks
If you are unable to fulfil your contractual obligations, or will suffer losses because suppliers cannot fulfil theirs, what do you do?
Review your key contracts to ascertain if there is any risk the pandemic could cause a breach and assess what pre-emptive measures you can take. This might include stock piling materials or resources, or providing early delivery to customers, where possible.
Hopefully, you will have some insurance in place covering losses arising from certain types of disruption or the death/incapacity of key personnel. Unfortunately, many business interruption policies will not cover a pandemic, so you need to check the terms of your agreement now.
You may be able to claim tax relief for some of the expenditure incurred as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, such as increased hygiene facilities, cleaning costs or hiring temporary staff to cover absences.
My colleagues and I are specialists in advising local businesses on the critical legal issues arising from emergency situations. Should you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact me on (0114) 218 4000 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, please stay safe and keep washing your hands!