Reopening After COVID-19? Check These 5 Things First
Businesses that are reopening after COVID-19 will be opening to a very different world. Find out key things you should consider for your business here.
This month, many businesses are reopening after having been shut for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this is a time we’ve all been eagerly awaiting, it’s important to make sure your business is ready to operate in the post-pandemic world. In this article, we’ll explain the parts of your business which may need to change when reopening to fit in with the new normal.
1. Your WHS policies
Work Health and Safety (WHS) is crucial in the workplace, and this extends to risks associated with contagious diseases. Your policy should be updated to account for employees who may come into contact with an illness or contract it. You can also introduce policies that specifically deal with the COVID-19 pandemic including a pandemic policy or workplace hygiene policy.
2. Leave entitlements for your employees
Many businesses have had to shut down since the pandemic began. This in turn has meant many employees have been out of work. Whether you stood down your employees or they took leave, you should check where leave entitlements are at for all your employees. A good example of this is that employees who have been stood down accrue leave whilst they are not working. Further, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) introduced pandemic leave in a number of modern awards, which entails two weeks of unpaid leave.
3. Hiring arrangements
Have you stood down employees who you wish to bring back? Or are you only able to bring back a limited number of staff until you are operating at full capacity again? These are all things to consider when reopening your business. Further, if your business is hiring at the moment, you should use this time to think about what skills and expertise your business will need after COVID-19. We’ve been told how different the workplace will be, so now is a good time to hire with the future in mind.
Now is also a good time to review your insurance policies and whether they meet the needs of your business. Although most business insurance policies would not have covered businesses for the effects of a pandemic, some businesses may have cover which includes this. It’s important at this stage to think about what cover you’ll need in the future to deal with unexpected events. One type of cover that’s worth looking into is business interruption insurance, but there are also exceptions to what types of events this covers.
5. Customer safety
If customers attend your premises, then it’s crucial that you have measures in place to protect customers from potential contagions. Many retail stores have introduced mandatory temperature checking and hand sanitiser, and this is a practice being recommended across the board. Further, it is wise to inform customers not to visit your business if they feel unwell. Before you reopen, you should assess your current practices and see where you can introduce measures to make your business safer.
Jackie is the Content Manager at Lawpath and manages the content team. She has a Law/Arts (Politics) degree from Macquarie University and is an admitted solicitor in the Supreme Court of NSW. She's interested in how technology can help shape the future legal landscape.