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Coronavirus - 10 steps to take now

The spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has escalated and it is important to ensure that all businesses across Greater Manchester feel supported and are prepared to act quickly as the situation unfolds.

At the GC Business Growth Hub we are dealing with enquiries from businesses keen to understand the potential impact to them and what actions they should be taking now. Here, we’ve detailed your top ten priorities.


 

Keep informed

 

Consult the NHS guide to Coronavirus which provides advice on how to avoid catching or spreading viruses like Covid-19; symptoms, treatment, and what steps you should take if you think you or any of your employees might be infected.

Official guidance on Coronavirus is being updated daily by the Department of Health and Social Care, and Public Health England. Read more here 

 

Signpost your employees to trusted advice and support

 

As the situation unfolds, employees may become increasingly worried or concerned about the risk of Coronavirus to them. It is important to direct them to trusted resources such as the NHS website, the World Health Organisation (WHO) which has a helpful myth-busting section, as well as Good Thinking, an NHS approved well-being service. 

For further advice on how to support your employees through the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development provides the following useful guidance.  

Promote good hygiene in the workplace 

 

Support employees’ health and safety through good hygiene disciplines and work design to limit potential spread, particularly for those returning from travel overseas. Refer to the latest NHS and WHO guidance.  

 

How to manage self isolation, sickness absence and school closures

 

You can find out more information about self-isolation and why it is important in this Public Health England blog. The Government has advised that self-isolation should be treated as sickness leave, providing the following guidance to employers and businesses.  

There is also the following information from ACAS, for employers who want to understand more about covering sick leave and pay entitlements if someone has or is suspected of having coronavirus.  

In addition to sickness leave and self-isolation some of your employees may be affected by school closures. Be sure to consider how to approach this in a consistent way across your business, perhaps by considering opportunities for remote working or flexibility around childcare.  

Adhere to the latest advice on overseas travel, business trips and event attendance

 

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is currently advising against all non-essential travel.

As FCO travel advice remains under constant review, it is recommended that you view the latest guidance from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

 

Managing overseas visitors or employees returning from overseas

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is currently advising against all non-essential travel.

As FCO travel advice remains under constant review, it is recommended that you view the latest guidance from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

 

Individuals are advised not to go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital, but should refer to the 111 online coronavirus service for guidance of what to do next.  

 

Assess the risks in your supply chain

As a result of the coronavirus and the measures being put in place to contain its spread, it is possible that some businesses will experience some disruption to supply chains. If you haven’t already got a contingency plan in place there are some actions you can undertake: 

  • Conduct an end-to-end review of your supply chain to assess any possible risks and consider alternative plans if your supply chain is interrupted, such as exploring contingency suppliers and transportation, and review of stock levels. This Supply Chain fundamentals’ factsheet can help you to do this.
  • The following resources may be of use if you need to source alternative suppliers:  

Engage with your key business partners

Speak to your advisors, bank, insurers as early as possible to share information and best practice, and to mitigate against potential disruptions to your business, such as cash-flow issues. 

 

Pandemic Planning 

As part of business contingency measures businesses should consider the guiding principles they will use in the event of a pandemic. These should consider a communications plan, workforce flexibility, workplace safety and business continuity. 

The UK Government have produced a Pandemic checklist to help you prepare – Read here
Read a detailed guide on how to plan for a Pandemic – Read here.

 

Insurance 

Business owners with pandemic cover will be covered by their business insurance according the Chancellor's Financial Statement on 17 March. 

Travel insurance will only be provided if individuals and businesses follow the latest Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice

It is highly recommended that you develop a Business Continuity Plan (BCP). 

Risk assessment templates and guidance are available via the Health and Safety Executive.


GC Business Growth hub advisors are experts in resilience planning, international trade and supply chain strategy. If your business has been affected by the impact of Coronavirus get in touch with the Hub and we will direct you to the relevant support. 

Get in touch by emailing bgh@growthco.uk or call on 0161 359 3050

We will continue to monitor the situation and update this page when more information is released. 

The information provided is meant as a general guide only rather than advice or assurance. GC Business Growth Hub does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information and professional guidance should be sought on all aspects of business planning and responses to the coronavirus. Use of this guide and toolkit are entirely at the risk of the user. Any hyperlinks from this document are to external resources not connected to the GC Business Growth Hub and The Growth Company is not responsible for the content within any hyperlinked site.

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