COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus (the family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to SARS).
It originated in the Wuhan area of China in late 2019. While the majority of cases are still in China, the virus has now been identified in many countries around the world. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
Many individuals experience mild to moderate symptoms although more severe symptoms such as pneumonia or even death can occur. The elderly and immunocompromised are more at risk of experiencing severe symptoms. Given the fast spread of the virus, the Government have issued official guidelines and policies aimed at containment.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has now been officially classified as a notifiable disease which will aid businesses in making applicable insurance claims for business disruption arising from its spread.
Impact For Businesses
Between the 17th February and 9th March 2020 the GBCC undertook a survey of local businesses on the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) to date on their organisations.
- 28% reported experiencing or expecting to experience Coronavirus (COVID-19) related disruption
- 23% highlighted supplier disruption and 22% reported cancelled appointments, events or trade shows (with a subsequent impact on pipeline of future work)
As a result the GBCC are recommending that the Government takes a number of measures to support businesses in managing Coronavirus (COVID-19) related disruption.
Download the Full Report Here
Advice For Businesses
Encourage employees to follow easy hygiene rules
- Encourage thorough handwashing and coughing and sneezing using tissues (and throwing them away in a bin)
- You may wish to provide hand sanitiser and tissues in key locations
- Encourage employees who are unwell not to attempt to come into work
Communicate with your workforce
- Update your workforce on your policies and actions taken
- Ensure you have up to date emergency contact information for your staff
- Ensure that managers understand what the symptoms of Coronavirus, as well as your policies and processes, should a suspected case be identified
Define your policies
- Consider whether business travel to affected areas is essential
- Clarify whether employees required to self-isolate will qualify for sick pay
- Clarify your policy on working from home (where viable) for individuals not experiencing symptoms
- Review & communicate your business continuity plan
- Review your insurance policies in order to understand what would or wouldn’t be covered in the event of significant disruption
Be aware of the wider potential impact & consider your contingency plans
- Review your key suppliers to identify any that may be impacted by Coronavirus outbreak and contact them to understand the situation
- Review your upcoming trade shows to ensure that they are going ahead
- Consider your contingency plans in the event of identifying immediate risks to your ability to do business such as a major supplier or customer disruption
- If needed, contact your bank or consider making use of HMRC time to pay facilities to support your business through any significant short term impacts on cashflow
Download the full checklist and business Q&A
For more detailed advice on employer responsibilities and best practice provided by Acas:
For resources from Public Health England which you may wish to display in your offices:
For advice from the World Health Organisation on getting your workplace ready for COVID-19
Key topics include:
- Simple ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace
- How to manage COVID-19 risks when organizing meetings & events
- Things to consider when you and your employees travel
- Getting your workplace ready in case COVID-19 arrives in your community
The UK Government’s advice is updated on a daily basis in response to the developing situation.
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Has your business been affected by the Coronavirus? The GBCC policy team are always looking for case studies from GBCC members to help us speak up for businesses in our region call - 0121 725 9002 or email for more information email@example.com