HR Guidance: Contingency planning for business interruptions / Coronavirus

March 05, 2020

From time to time, issues and incidents will arise that may affect the normal operation of businesses. Business continuity planning is important in the context of a variety of different situations where unforeseen and unplanned events may result in employee absence. These unforeseen events may include adverse weather conditions, and or public transport disputes which make it difficult for employees to attend for work. Similarly, sustained interruptions to supply chains and major outbreaks of flu and/or other epidemics impact on normal business continuity. The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) is one such example where international efforts are being taken to prevent the further spread of the virus, with consequent impact on supply chains and business travel globally.

Any such incidents described above will raise a number of issues, which employers need to plan for in advance. To be prepared for these eventualities it is important for employers to look at their internal policies and procedures to evaluate what impact such disruptions may have on their operations, ability to meet customer demands or orders or in cases of illness on the company sick pay scheme, etc. This latter consideration is particularly important given that flu/epidemic planning needs to take account of changes to the workplace, which could extend for a number of months. Key areas to consider are outlined in the attached document.

**This Guideline is continually under review as Ibec reviews the progression of Covid-19.  Links attached to this guidance document are updated regularly as new information is posted.