Have a read of our blog examining the stages of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and discussing the different responses from governments and from the public. Also have a read of our blog outlining the new restrictions put in place in NSW.
The Coronavirus presents a challenge for all employers.
We want to ensure that we protect everyone, but we also want to protect our businesses. But there are many challenges to face, and many questions about what comes next.
- Will it get worse?
- Will we have to close the business?
- Will we lose large sums of money?
- What is the right thing to do by our employees?
- Will we develop a Coronavirus vaccine soon?
Right now, many businesses and services have been closed, especially those that require large numbers of people to be in the same physical area. Any businesses that are able to funciton on a work-from-home basis are being strongly encouraged to do so. As we move forward in this unprecedented situation, the rules about what businesses may remain open are likely to change. As of right now, there is still a great deal of uncertainty facing business owners.
What we do know is that every small business should develop a simple plan to deal with the Coronavirus threat.
For those businesses that do remain open, here is Greg Martin’s simple seven-point plan for dealing with COVID-19:
- Encourage anyone with a respiratory illness to stay at home, and to see a doctor.
- Have flexible sick leave policies. Casual work rosters may need to be rotated. Different people may need to pick up the slack. In the long-run, consider whether or not you will pay your casuals sick leave.
- Separate employees within the workspace. Make sure there are no direct lines of transmission – coughing or sneezing on one another. Restrict contact between people – make sure social distancing rules are being followed.
- Put a poster up, probably near your front door, outlining your health policies. You can download cough and sneeze etiquette policies and hand-hygiene posters. Ensure that you have tissues and sanitisers at reception and throughout the workspace.
- Routine cleaning. All touched surfaces should be wiped daily, if not more frequently as required.
- If any employees are travelling, or you need to travel for work, then obtain advice from DFAT.
- Employees must notify employers if a family member has, or is suspected of having COVID-19. Encourage them to stay home in self-isolation until the situation is clarified.
These are simple measures that we can all put in place to deal with the current Coronavirus crisis.
Remember to follow all medical advice and keep an eye out for any updates in relation to this unfolding situation.
Stay safe. Be kind. Take care of yourselves and each other.