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Government guidance on staying at home

Government have announced new measures to reduce the spread of corona virus. They are:

  • Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  • Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  • Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public

For full details please click here.

Growth Platform and our partners want to support businesses and employers  affected by COVID-19.

Here we have compiled a list of 10 steps you can take now to make sure your business and employees are as prepared as possible.

1. Keep informed

Consult the NHS guide to Coronavirus which provides advice on how to avoid catching or spreading viruses like Covid-19; symptoms, treatment, and what steps you should take if you think you or any of your employees might be infected.

Official guidance on Coronavirus is being updated daily by the Department of Health and Social Care, and Public Health England. Read more here 

2.  Signpost your employees to trusted advice and support

As the situation unfolds, employees may become increasingly worried or concerned about the risk of Coronavirus to them. It is important to direct them to trusted resources such as the NHS website, the World Health Organisation (WHO) which has a helpful myth-busting section, as well as Good Thinking, an NHS approved well-being service. 

For further advice on how to support your employees through the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development provides the following useful guidance.  

3. Promote good hygiene in the workplace

The latest Government measures state that people, except for four specific reasons:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your
    household.
  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

Read the full measures here.

Where home working is not possible you should ensure that you support employees’ health and safety through good hygiene disciplines and work design to limit potential spread, particularly for those returning from travel overseas. Refer to the latest NHS and WHO guidance. 

4. Know how to manage self isolation, sickness absence and school closures

You can find out more information about self-isolation and why it is important in this Public Health England blogThe Government has advised that self-isolation should be treated as sickness leave, providing the following guidance to employers and businesses.  

There is also the following information from ACAS, for employers who want to understand more about covering sick leave and pay entitlements if someone has or is suspected of having coronavirus.  

In addition to sickness leave and self-isolation some of your employees may be affected by school closures. Be sure to consider how to approach this in a consistent way across your business, perhaps by considering opportunities for remote working or flexibility around childcare. 

People unable to work for more than seven days because of coronavirus (COVID-19) can obtain an isolation note through a new online service.

5. Adhere to the latest advice on overseas travel, business trips and event attendance

As FCO travel advice remains under constant review, it is recommended that you view the latest guidance from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)prior to booking travel.

6. Know how to manage overseas visitors or employees returning from overseas

The UK Chief Medical officer has issued the following advice for anyone arriving in the UK from areas that have been affected by Covid-19Public Health England have produced a map of the specified countries and this is being updated as the advice changes.  

Individuals are advised not to go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital, but should refer to the 111 online coronavirus service for guidance of what to do next.

7. Assess the risks in your supply chain

With many businesses relying on suppliers from overseas, Coronavirus may start to have an impact on the supply of goods.

For advice on managing your supply chain click here.

8. Engage with your key business partners

Speak to your advisors, bank, insurers as early as possible to share information and best practice, and to mitigate against potential disruptions to your business, such as cash-flow issues.

9. Pandemic Planning

As part of business contingency measures businesses should consider the guiding principles they will use in the event of a pandemic. These should consider a communications plan, workforce flexibility, workplace safety and business continuity. 

The UK Government have produced a Pandemic checklist to help you prepare – Read here
Read a detailed guide on how to plan for a Pandemic – Read here.

10. Insurance

Business owners should look at the terms of their business insurance to understand if they are covered for communicable diseases or outbreaks.

Travel insurance should provide cover so long as individuals and businesses follow the latest Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice.

Risk assessment templates and guidance are available via the Health and Safety Executive.

If you are worried about the impact to your business please get in touch with us and we will respond to you directly or through one of our partners.

Get in touch by emailing localgrowthhub@growthplatform.org

Whilst we will continue to monitor the situation and update this page when more information is released we advise you visit the Government website for the most up to date and accurate information.

Please be aware the information provided above is meant as a general guide only rather than advice or assurance.