The spread of Coronavirus doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, so are you prepared as a business for any measures you may need to take?

The virus can be passed on when there is close contact with an infected person.  This can be either by being inhaled into the lungs if in close proximity to an infected person, or by touching a surface, object or the hand of an infected person, then touching your own mouth, nose or eyes.

NHS advice is to wash hands frequently, catch coughs and sneezes in tissues and then dispose (and wash hands again), or cough or sneeze into your sleeve if don’t have a tissue.  For full NHS advice you can follow this link: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Risk Assessment
First steps are to take a risk assessment of your workplace, employees and clients/customers.
  • Do your employees travel to work on public transport where they could come into contact with someone/touch an infected surface?
  • Is the outbreak likely to affect your business?
  • Do you need to evaluate business travel – can it be delayed or cancelled if non-essential?
  • Could your staff work from home if necessary?
  • How would you operate with reduced staffing levels?
  • Have you briefed your staff about the risk in public places – restaurants/pubs/shops

Impact of Reduced Trade

If you weren’t able to operate fully for any period of time, you must think about the impact this could have on your cash flow both short term and long term.  This will also apply to the self-employed who wouldn’t be able to earn a  living and won’t be entitled to sick pay.

If your business needs to be closed for deep cleaning, think about the affect this could have on your reputation/footfall.

Check your business insurance policy – if you have Business Interruption Cover in your commercial insurance policy, check whether you have an extension for “notifiable diseases”.  If so contact your broker to see whether coronavirus is covered.  If it isn’t, you can ask for it to be added – but they are within their rights to refuse or ask for an increased premium.  This could cover you if your business needs to close.

The HMRC Payment Support Service has announced that you will be allowed more time to pay your tax/ VAT/PAYE if your business has been affected by coronovirus so ring them as soon as you think you may have difficulty meeting your deadlines – 0300 200 3835.

Impact of Reduced Trade

If you weren’t able to operate fully for any period of time, you must think about the impact this could have on your cash flow both short term and long term.  This will also apply to the self-employed who wouldn’t be able to earn a  living and won’t be entitled to sick pay.

If your business needs to be closed for deep cleaning, think about the affect this could have on your reputation/footfall.

Check your business insurance policy – if you have Business Interruption Cover in your commercial insurance policy, check whether you have an extension for “notifiable diseases”.  If so contact your broker to see whether coronavirus is covered.  If it isn’t, you can ask for it to be added – but they are within their rights to refuse or ask for an increased premium.  This could cover you if your business needs to close.

The HMRC Payment Support Service has announced that you will be allowed more time to pay your tax/ VAT/PAYE if your business has been affected by coronovirus so ring them as soon as you think you may have difficulty meeting your deadlines – 0300 200 3835.

Absence from Work

BREAKING NEWS – the Government has just announced that workers will receive statutory sick pay from the first day they are off work, not the fourth.  This is to help prevent the spread of the virus and not penalise people for doing the right thing.

If an employee has been advised to self-isolate due to suspected COVID-19, it is strongly suggested that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence.
Information may change daily so make sure you keep an eye on developments/announcements and ensure you follow the guidance/regulations as issued
We strongly advise you to seek appropriate advice before taking action on any of the points listed above.
All information contained in this document are correct at the time of writing.  Legislation and regulations may change at any time.
If you are in any doubt, please call us for clarification.
About us:  Leggate Associates Limited was formed by Andrew Leggate LL.B FCMA FCA CGMA who has over 35 years of tax and accountancy experience in industry and practice, and the practice is managed by Joanne Leggate FMAAT, ATT (Fellow).  Our clients range from building subcontractors to multi-million pound concerns and high net worth individuals all over the UK.  Please see our website www.leggateassociates.co.uk  or follow @LeggateAssoc on Twitter for occasional updates.
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