With an uncertain road ahead for the next few months, local lockdowns could become inevitable. As a business owner this once again has implications in terms of staffing, customers and suppliers. We would advise to start planning now in advance of a local lockdown.
If staff are suddenly unable to come into the workplace and are at home potentially caring for others, then the business needs to be able to adapt and respond quickly. This is why a business contingency plan is essential.
What to include in your contingency plan
Take a look back at what worked during lockdown previously, and what didn’t. Learn from the first experience to build a more robust plan for potentially similar situations.
Points to consider and include:
- Did staff have adequate equipment to work from home at short notice? For example, are IT systems set up and could staff immediately work from home if needed?
- Create a homeworking policy which outlines your expectations and obligations.
- Do staff have suitable home working environments? Use our homeworking risk assessment template to find make sure.
- Be mindful of childcare issues if a local lockdown occurs. Your staff may suddenly find their children back at home and unable to work their normal hours. Consider whether you can introduce flexible working options or changing core hours to assist.
- If your staff can’t work due to other commitments you could consider placing them onto the furlough scheme, which runs until 31st October. Other alternatives include unpaid leave or asking staff to take annual leave during this period. However, be aware that in order to enforce leave you have to give at least twice the length of the leave in notice.
- For businesses with premises in and out of lockdown areas, homeworking should still be the priority or factor in a plan to restructure staff across multiple sites.
- Gain feedback. Survey your staff on what worked and what didn’t for them last time. Find out what potential issues they will face in the event of a local lockdown and factor this into your planning. This is the best way to gain an insight and avoid any potential issues.
In the meantime, we would advise that you continue to keep your workplace as safe as possible. We’ve got free guidance and templates here to help. Make sure that you continue to practise social distancing, keep signage up to date and encourage santising and hand washing.
Get in touch with us for help with contingency planning.