While it’s easy to understand why the government has chosen to enact a national lockdown in the UK, there’s no doubt that this could sound the death knell for thousands more businesses nationwide.
A record number of shops already closed on UK streets during the first half of 2020, with some 11,120 chain store outlets closing completely between January and June. Overall, there was a net decline of 6,001 stores during this period, while such losses could be compounded in the months ahead.
For those businesses that continue to survive the impact of the pandemic, it’s important to take proactive steps that enable them to protect their interests. Here are some ideas to keep in mind:
Start by Consulting Employment Solicitors
In many ways, the socio-economic impact of the coronavirus has been further compounded by the uncertainty caused by Brexit, while even the agreement of a tariff-free trade deal hasn’t completely quelled unrest amongst companies that trade with EU member states.
Given the unique and complex challenges facing businesses in the current climate, it may be worth consulting qualified employment solicitors in order to move forward and consolidate your interests in 2021.
More specifically, liaising with legal experts will help you to understand your obligations with regards to employees, particularly with regards to laying off staff members (in the worst case scenario) and continuing to comply with ever-evolving employment laws.
Create and Agile and Proactive Plan
The most recent lockdown has undoubtedly impacted hospitality businesses particularly hard, not least because many of these ventures had previously invested in making their outlets ‘Covid secure’.
However, companies should strive to maintain these safeguards where possible for the time being, so that they’re prepared and ready to resume trading immediately once the current lockdown measures start being eased.
This type of approach should be part of a wider plan that makes provisions for both further outbreaks and the easing of social restrictions, while this must also be agile and capable of being adapted in real-time.
Establish a Viable Work From Home Policy
In April of last year, an estimated 46.6% of people in employment did at least some work at home, with approximately 86% of this number doing so directly as a result of the coronavirus.
This highlights the importance of creating a viable work from home policy in the current climate, as it’s crucial that businesses are able to comply with government guidelines and adequately safeguard employees if they’re to remain open.
This may not be an option for all employees, but you should quickly identify those who can work from home before investing in the equipment and training that enables this number to operate remotely without compromising on productivity.
This plan should also include remote working procedures and guidelines, while accounting for health and safety issues where applicable.