Covid-19 Business Recovery Toolkit

A library of resources to guide you on your road to recovery.

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In these exceptional circumstances, most businesses will be facing difficulties. With the widespread and global effects of Covid-19, even those businesses with strong Business Continuity Plans would not have been able to foresee and plan for such extensive operational impacts. The pandemic has affected organisations in ways that could not have been anticipated and even now, as we’re experiencing a relaxation of lockdown, there is still much uncertainty ahead.

On 11th May the Government released their Covid-19 recovery strategy document, ‘Our Plan to Rebuild’, but the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 raises all manner of questions for businesses:

  • What should we say to our staff and how should we say it?
  • How do we support our workforce?
  • What do we tell our customers and suppliers?
  • Will our customers and suppliers need to change?
  • Will we need to change?
  • How do we recruit and train new staff?
  • What do we need to do to return to work?

What you do now will be critically important to the recovery and success of your business. Aston Lark recognises this and is providing businesses with a range of information, support and tools to help you get through these tough times and make a full operational recovery. In our ‘Road to Recovery’ toolkit you will find:

  • Templates and advice on how to best communicate with your staff, customers and suppliers
  • Return to work checklists that enable you to methodically tick off all of the things you’ll need to consider before switching the lights back on
  • Risk Assessment templates for you to use to keep up with UK Government guidelines
  • FREE access to the Cyber AMI online education and self-assessment service to help you implement the requirements of the Government’s Cyber Essentials scheme

It’s likely that you and your competitors will come out of lockdown at the same time, and it’s clear that those businesses that are best prepared will hold the advantage.

Steps on the Road to Recovery

Communication (what, when and how you tell your staff, customers & suppliers)

Staff Communications

With many staff now working remotely from home, there are new risks to their health and wellbeing. It’s important that you keep in regular contact with them and ensure they have the information to allow them to work from home as safely as possible. Click here for access to a set of eight emailable templates that you can send to your employees.

Customer & Supplier Relationships

Whilst your business may have had to close or reduce its operations, it’s essential that you keep an eye on customer and supplier relationships. No business will last long without these.


Employee Assistance Programmes

Now, more than ever in this time of global crisis, businesses need to think about how they can best support their employees in relation to mental health issues, medical concerns and financial fears. Read our article about how Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) can help provide essential employee support for personal and work-related issues.

Safety (how you can keep your staff safe and enable them to return to work)

Covid-19 Testing

With emerging Government advice on Covid-19 control measures, companies are currently faced with developing strategies to both return staff to work and manage on-going risk.  Noting that risk, Aston Lark partner Randox are ideally placed to provide timely testing and reporting of current Covid-19 infections, to support local control measures.

The unique Randox Covid-19 test, on the Randox biochip, has been approved by Public Health England. It plays a key role in the UK’s National Testing Program which means that Randox are testing at scale, with timely and automated reporting of results.

The Randox Covid-19 screening kit is available for self-collect testing and, if required, Randox offers a fully collected service for Covid-19 testing.  Detection is from a nose and throat swab, with results in 1-2 days from receipt of the specimen. For further information contact: [email protected] quoting reference ASTONCOV19

Covid-19 Temperature Screening

As many businesses return to the workplace, they are implementing temperature checks as part of their Covid-19 control measures. One of the primary symptoms of Covid-19 is a temperature of above 38°C (100.4°F) and the current Government guidance advises individuals with a high temperature to self-isolate as a precaution. Read our article to learn more about the issues for employers to consider.

Workplace Risk Assessments

You should carry out a risk assessment of your workplace to ensure you’ve done all that is reasonably practical to protect your employees and others from the spread of Covid-19. In this PDF, we provide advice on the measures businesses like yours should consider. Click here for more information. For a Workplace Risk Assessment guide tailored to the Motor Trade, please click here.

This BBC News video demonstrates how a factory is safely continuing to operate during the pandemic.

First Aid

When your premises re-open, you’ll be faced with a number of first aid considerations to ensure you can operate safely. Click here for more information.

Fire Safety

As businesses start to reoccupy their premises, fire safety must be a priority. We discuss some of the essential considerations. Click here for more information. 

Premises Cleaning

As and when businesses like yours start to reoccupy your premises, you’ll need to implement enhanced cleaning regimes. We discuss some of the cleaning-related issues businesses should start to plan for. Click here for more information. 

If you’d like to discuss the range of cleaning services offered by our partner, Crawford Contractor Connection, please make an enquiry here.

Coronavirus Awareness & Advice Tool

Businesses and employees can struggle to keep up-to-date with this constantly changing picture and, as a result, our partner Champion Health has developed a free online support and advice tool. This tool has been developed alongside GPs and health professionals, and informed by credible sources of Coronavirus guidance which have been referenced throughout.

The tool provides information to employees on subjects such as:

  • How to boost your immune system
  • The importance of good mental health
  • Symptoms of Coronavirus
  • What to do if you feel unwell
  • Self-isolation
  • Working from home guidance

For employers, the tool provides advice on protecting the health of your employees and mitigating the threat to business continuity:

  • How to reduce risks in the workplace
  • What to do if someone becomes unwell at work
  • Absence and sick pay guidance
  • Workplace guidance

To access all of the above, simply click here. This is a free Coronavirus awareness tool to help reduce the risks, worry and concerns for yourself and those around you.

Legionella / Water Management

If you’re returning to premises that have been dormant for some time, it’s essential that employers and those duty-holders in control of premises and/or with health & safety responsibilities should now create a plan for re-commissioning water systems to ensure they’re safe and free from the risk of Legionella contamination.

The measures required will depend on the size and complexity of the water systems in the building. The minimum expectation for small, simple hot and cold water systems would be flushing through with fresh mains water.  For larger buildings, and those with tanks, showers, calorifiers and more complex pipework, the expectation is likely to be far more extensive and involve flushing followed by cleaning and disinfection. Click here for more information.

Government Guidance on Workplace Safety

The Government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. These eight guides cover a range of different types of work and, as many businesses operate more than one type of workplace (such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles), you might need to refer to more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.

Safety Posters

We’ve produced a series of Covid-19 safety posters for you to print and display in your premises:

 

Financial Support (how you can benefit from available Government support policies and insurance covers)

Trade Credit Insurance

None of us can be sure of the final impact Covid-19 will have on the economy and businesses across the UK, but it is certain that there will be a lot more fragility and uncertainty about the financial strength of many companies. We discuss Trade Credit Insurance, what sectors it’s most likely to benefit, and how it can benefit your business in a post Covid-19 environment.

Cyber Security

Click here to access information and resources on how to protect your business from cyber-attacks now and after the Covid-19 pandemic, plus access to free cyber awareness information for your staff and a number of cyber security checklists.

Financial Support

For many businesses, there’ll be uncertain times ahead following Covid-19. Those businesses that are currently struggling for profitability, with low cash reserves or unstable cash flows, are particularly vulnerable. However, even businesses that appear to be in good financial shape may not be immune, depending on how long it takes for the economy to recover and for supply and demand chains to return to normal. Click here to access a ‘cashflow template’ provided by our partner and financial expert, Hazlewoods LLP.

Hazlewoods also offers a wide range of financial advice and other useful tools relating to Covid-19 on their website.

The Government has set up an online tool to help businesses work out which of the support schemes they are eligible for.

Legal Advice

When the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) released guidance as to what was reportable under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR), there was some initial confusion. We discuss the requirements and implications here. For those businesses that have managed to carry on operating during the Covid-19 lockdown, you should now have risk assessments in place detailing the level of risk associated with spread of the disease and how you’re going to control this. However, even after lockdown ends and businesses start to re-open, it’s highly likely this will be a slow process with certain control measures (such as social distancing) still being required. Before re-opening your business, you should carry out these workplace risk assessments to help defend yourself against potential Employer’s Liability claims.

Our legal partner, Kennedys, discusses Covid-19 workplace risk assessments and also offers some guidance in relation to health and safety considerations and the defence of claims. They highlight likely Employer’s Liability claims that may stem from Coronavirus and some specific industry issues in relation to construction, food and retail sectors. They also offer some perspectives from across their commercial practice areas about the wider impact of Covid-19 for businesses, areas of potential exposure, and what steps you should now be taking.

Return (what you need to do to return to work, and in what order)

Employment Risks

There are certain things you should be thinking about now, so your business is ahead of the curve when the country starts to return to normality.  Click here to read our article.

Recovery Checklist

This is designed as an aide memoire to assist your business when you’re getting your operations back up and running. Click here to access the checklist.

Statutory Inspections & Electrical Installations Inspection

We explain why you’ll need to keep a close eye on when these inspections are required.

Client Meetings

During the Covid-19 lockdown, organisations turned to video conferencing to replace face-to-face meetings, and in the future we are likely to see a continued reliance on this rather than the traditional approach of physical visits. However, as the restrictions are slowly being relaxed there will be some circumstances in which a face-to-face meeting is essential.

We have created a template that you can edit and use to provide guidance to both your staff and their clients on the measures required when undertaking face-to-face meetings.

Driving

  • Checklist for Employing New Drivers – For those businesses which need to recruit new employees who’ll be required to drive on company business, we’ve created a quick checklist to help ensure all boxes have been ticked from a compliance perspective
Adapt (how to consider different ways of doing things to adapt to the new world)

Supply Chain Management Checklist 

To assist your business to focus on supply chain risk issues, we’ve prepared a checklist to highlight considerations you should be making through the various stages of the pandemic to achieve full recovery of business operations.

Employee Management

In addition to changing supply chains, customer bases and customer behaviour, in the long term it’s highly likely that the Covid-19 pandemic will result in changes to the way organisations treat and manage their employees and how employees behave. Read our article here.

Altering Operations & Reaching New Customers

Read our article on businesses diversifying their operations here.

Recover!

Business Continuity Planning

So your business has survived this far through the Covid-19 pandemic, and is hopefully on the road to recovery! So, why do you need to consider Business Continuity Planning (BCP)? In this article, Mark Robinson of Inoni (an Aston Lark Business Continuity specialist partner) discusses BCP post Covid-19. In addition, there are free BCP templates and guides to download and webinars to attend.

Emerging stronger on the other side

Whilst the guidance and tools in this Road to Recovery toolkit will hopefully help your business recover and, importantly, recover more quickly than your competitors, nobody can be 100% sure what the Covid-19 recovery timeline will look like.

How long will it last, will there be further outbreaks and disruptions? What supply chain issues will arise if some businesses do not manage to recover?

Those businesses that continue to be flexible and innovative, and communicate effectively with their staff, customers and suppliers, stand the best chance of not only recovering but also potentially grabbing opportunities to emerge stronger on the other side.

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