Ibec update: Priorities and services during Covid-19 crisis

March 12, 2020

I have just returned from a meeting of the Virus taskforce in Government buildings.  As we enter a new phase in relation to the virus, Government measures to effectively address and limit its spread are critical and are fully supported by business.

These are trying times. Safeguarding the health and wellbeing of people remains the outstanding priority for business.  Ibec and its membership play an important leadership role by being a strong level-headed role model in our communities and for the workforce.  We must champion essential public and private services and suppliers ensuring that everything is done for continuity and certainty. 

Employers have a complex and evolving landscape to navigate and the closure of schools and childcare services brings additional pressure.  Practically this means the implementation of remote and flexible working where possible and empowering employees to operate responsibly to limit and slow down the spread of the virus.

In our daily discussions with Government through the Virus Taskforce meetings and political party leader engagement, we are prioritising supports for business continuity.  This is particularly critical for the hospitality, retail and related sectors which have already suffered a very significant demand shock.

Severe disruption to both essential supply chains and front-line business is inevitable, however there are many immediate, innovative and practical actions Government can take to mitigate. Supporting cash flow needs of businesses and avoiding large scale job losses should be the priority.  A pause on VAT, rates and other payments which business makes to the State is as important as rolling out a suite of new support measures.  Government must show agility in terms of alleviating the immediate pressures on businesses most exposed so that they can continue to trade.

With much virus news and information out there, Ibec’s priorities are as follows:

1. Strong leadership to ensure the health and sustainability of Ireland’s workforce and communities;
2. Representing the interests and needs of business in crisis to Government with innovative and quick action measures and solutions;
3. Supporting business during this period with relevant information and services as well as opportunities to engage with peers remotely and network in what will fast become a universally remote environment.

While our ways of working are changing to reflect containment measures, Ibec services to support and represent your business are fully operational.

Please do let us know if you have any comments or require support, it’s always good to hear from you.

Stay in touch with us.

Danny McCoy