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 there is still much uncertainty ahead.

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
  • And much more…

Updates for 2021

On 22nd February 2021 the UK Prime Minister announced the roadmap for the route out of lockdown, the road to recovery! Starting from 8th March, people saw restrictions start to lift, beginning with the return of all children and students to face-to-face education in schools and colleges.

Whilst optimism is high that this slow and steady approach to lifting lockdown in conjunction with the vaccine rollout will hopefully allow the route back to a normal life, the Government appears highly cautious not to create a third wave of the virus. In fact, a report produced on 17th February by Sage did warn that even under the “most optimistic set of assumptions”, a third wave of Covid-19 infections was likely with at least a further 30,000 Covid deaths in the following months.

One of the positive effects the virus has had over the past 12 months is highlighting the importance of an organisation’s employees, which in many cases should be considered its most valuable of assets. With the effect that the pandemic has had on employees’ mental health and wellbeing, many organisations have made sure employee support is at the top of their agenda.

With the importance of mental health and wellbeing in mind, and with the anticipated return to the workplace over the coming months, the Aston Lark Road to Recovery toolkit has been updated to focus on two specific areas:

  • Occupational health and employee wellbeing support
  • Managing employees’ return to the workplace

Issues examined include:

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


What, when and how to communicate with your staff, customers & suppliers. Advice on how to maintain and build on business relationships and offer your employees the support and information they need both personally and in their work.

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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.


How you can keep your staff safe and enable them to return to work. A selection of guides, checklists and poster templates to aid you in getting your work premises in line with old and new safety requirements related to Covid-19.

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Covid-19 Testing

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 14 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 SupportFinancial Support

How you can benefit from available Government support policies and insurance covers as well as information on cyber security awareness and access to legal advice you may require.

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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

With the increasing surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths, employers may wish to review the updated guidance from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) on RIDDOR Reporting requirements, which can be found 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.

Coronavirus & Public Liability Insurance Cover

Insurers are also starting to apply ‘Communicable Disease’ and ‘Pandemic/Epidemic’ type exclusions to Public Liability insurance.

To find out more about Public Liability claims, how they are triggered and the implications for your business, click here.

Employee BenefitsEmployee Support

Advice on how you can support your employees’ physical and mental health during the pandemic with resources and tips to help them maintain their wellbeing.

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Free Mental Health Support Resources in the UK

Mental health has become a more prevalent subject in the UK in recent years, exacerbated for many by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Feelings of isolation and loneliness are natural during lockdown, and financial stress has also increased for those who may have had their employment and subsequent income disrupted.

Fortunately, there are many free mental health support resources that are available to those who may be struggling. Click here to find out more about the mental health resources that may be available to assist you and your employees.

Eating Disorder Guide for Employers

We’re all opening up about mental health at work and this should be celebrated. However, one type of serious mental illness is often forgotten. Eating disorders affect at least 2% of UK professionals and that means in a business of 100 employees, two people are expected to be affected. To help, our partners Champion Health have put together an eating disorder guide for employers, packed with myth-busting tips and ways to offer support in the workplace.

Long Covid

Long Covid is a term used to describe the effects of Covid-19 that continue for weeks or months beyond the initial illness. It is medically recognised that Long Covid can leave some sufferers, even mild, with persistent debilitating health conditions.

Our article looks at how employers can support employees with Long Covid and how introducing occupational health services can help assess the employee’s condition and advise on any obstacles that may be preventing the employee returning to or remaining at work.

Lockdown Fatigue

Living through a global pandemic has introduced unique challenges which are likely to affect mental and physical wellbeing. Many of us are likely to be feeling a range of emotions, which include a lack of motivation, low mood and tiredness. This is now being recognised as lockdown fatigue.

Our article discusses the tell-tale signs of lockdown fatigue, which may help you recognise if your employees are struggling. We also provide practical advice and resources to help employers support staff that are suffering from burnout and lockdown fatigue.

Guide to Remaining Physically Active

Exercise is an extremely important way to support a healthy mind and body. It is well documented that exercise can improve symptoms in people with anxiety and/or stress-related disorders. It’s therefore important to consider how you can support your employees in remaining active throughout lockdown, which in turn will support their wellbeing and mental health.

Our article provides helpful tips and resources that can be used to keep you, your employees and their families physically active.

Food and Nutrition Tips during Lockdown

Employers have a legal responsibility to support the health and wellbeing of their staff, even when they are working from home. It is important that organisations recognise this goes above and beyond a legal obligation. Improving the health and wellbeing of staff will improve their overall performance and drive a healthy business.

Public Health England has created a toolkit for employers that offers practical advice on how employees can support their employees’ health.

Our article also looks at the subtle ways employers are able to support staff in making healthier choices and introduce positive changes in the workplace.

Stress in the Workplace

Stress in the workplace is not a new issue, however studies have shown it has been exacerbated further by Covid-19. A recent survey of more than 12,000 employees across 11 countries found 2020 was deemed the most stressful year in history, with 78% of respondents saying the pandemic has negatively affected their mental health.

Our article reflects on common job stressors and highlights new concerns that have arisen due to Covid-19. We also look at several steps businesses can take to help reduce work-related stress as well as insurance products that can help employees and managers spot the signs and deal with stress.

HSE has also produced a guide on work-related stress and how to tackle it.

Occupational Health Services

Occupational health providers may help your business to proactively support staff throughout the duration of the pandemic and into the recovery phase.

They can help with issues such as:

  • Management of staff who have specific health concerns and conditions through integrated case management and targeted medical protocols utilising a range of specialist disciplines; this would include the management of Long Covid through vocational rehabilitation
  • Clinical risk assessments
  • Mental health support during and after the pandemic
  • Supporting staff to return to the workplace where and when appropriate
  • Health surveillance
  • Responding to changing government guidelines
  • Client updates
  • Workplace testing

We work closely with Managed Occupational Health (MOH), who are widely regarded as one of the UK’s leading and most innovative healthcare providers. Occupational Health (OH) solutions are unique to each client and its culture, and MOH is renowned for its flexible and pragmatic solutions to match clients’ needs and OH spend. To find out more please contact Eliot Clarke at [email protected].

Cardinus Risk Management Tools

Cardinus Risk Management, which works closely with Aston Lark, has developed a number of e-learning courses designed to support businesses and their employees through Covid-19. The courses can now be purchased by our clients at a 20% discount.

Please see here for an outline of the courses available.

If you would like a demo of the courses, or a quotation, please contact Eliot Clarke at [email protected].


Resources on how to adapt to the new world and different ways of running a business. Including guidance on employee management, business diversification and supply chain management.

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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.

Back to workReturn to Work

What you need to do to return to work, and in what order. From risk assessments and recovery checklists to planning business continuity and  client management.

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Employee Refusal

With the vaccination programme in full swing employers may soon be facing the dilemma of what to do if staff refuse to be vaccinated. This article looks at the reasons why staff may object to the vaccine, how you could encourage them to do so and what measures you are allowed to take under the law.

As businesses begin to reopen, employers are starting to consider the prospect of some employees being reluctant, or even refusing, to return to the workplace. In this article, law firm Kennedys looks at the risks and pitfalls of initiating disciplinary or dismissal proceedings against employees who refuse to return to the workplace.

Effects of Furlough

As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government introduced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This allows all UK employers with employees on a PAYE scheme to designate some or all employees as ‘furloughed workers’. This scheme has been extended a number of times and the current extension runs to the end of September 2021.

With the vaccination roll-out making good progress, it is hoped the economy will start to open up and furloughed workers can return to the workplace. However, having been potentially out of work for over 12 months there may be some issues employees and employers will face.

Our article looks at some of the potential issues and provides tips on how to overcome them.

Building and Premises Safety

A staggering majority of the global workforce (68%) does not feel completely safe working in their employer’s buildings. This number is even higher for those working remotely (75%), who are especially sceptical about the safety of work sites.

In order to get employees happily back into the workplace, employers need to start thinking more about building design and systems, and how this will support the future of the workplace. Our article looks at a new building standard that businesses may wish to consider and explores what the workplace may look like in the future.

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.


  • 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

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.

DownloadableGuides and Checklists

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