By now, you will be aware of the Corona virus outbreak. This alert does not offer tips for avoiding the flu, instead, it provides information and coping strategies for the owners of small businesses – ideas that will hopefully be of assistance if your business is affected.
What if your employees contract the virus?
Obviously, you will not want them in the workplace. You will need to review your contracts of employment with affected staff to determine your liability to cover sick pay.
Statutory sick pay (SSP) amounts to £94.25 per week (2019-20) and for staff who qualify, can be paid for a maximum period of 28 weeks.
If you have payroll software the management of SSP is normally included.
You may also benefit from contingency planning. How can you reorganise tasks if key staff are incapacitated? Spending a little time to plan for these possibilities may save you head-aches should staff be unable to work.
Have you considered Home Working arrangements?
Is it feasible to organise a home working scheme for staff? This will not be feasible for all staff, production workers or retail staff for example, but staff that spend their days in front of a computer screen could be supplied with a laptop and work from home.
Where appropriate, there are a wealth of online meeting services that could be utilised to keep in touch with home workers.
Do you depend on the services of sub-contractors?
If yes, you may want to organise a list of alternative contractors you can call on if needed. This should help to minimise disruption if your present sub-contractors are unable to work.
How secure are your supply lines?
You may want to consider sourcing alternative suppliers if your present supply lines are adversely affected by the flu. China, as we know, supplies a growing number of components many of which find their way into British made goods.
Should you be rethinking your business plans?
It is difficult to gauge the possible spread of the Coronavirus but if epidemic conditions arise there is a real possibility that we may see a downturn in global, and therefore UK, economic activity.
This, combined with any Brexit fallout, may indicate that the time is right to rethink your turnover, costs and investment budgets for 2020-21. Be prepared.
What happens if you are personally affected?
How we can help…
Let us hope that the UK government is successful in containing the Coronavirus outbreak and limiting disruption to your business. In the event that the virus becomes more aggressive, here are a few ways we could possibly help if you are unable to work:
- If you are unable to maintain in-house accounting functions – bookkeeping, VAT, credit control and payroll for example – consider outsourcing. We know your business and could step-in to keep record keeping up-to-date and meet those important filing deadlines.
- We can help you rethink your business plans and if necessary help you organise additional funding if it should be required.
- We are well connected in the local business community. If you need to source alternative suppliers or sub-contractors we may be able to recommend someone.
- We can recommend online meeting software that you could use in place of face-to-face meetings with suppliers and customers.
Call anytime to discuss these or any other concerns you may have.