• Kristy Mckenzie

Important Information - COVID-19

The threat of a global pandemic of the scale posed by the novel COVID-19 coronavirus is unprecedented in living memory. Now is the time to take steps to protect your business to attempt to mitigate and minimize the impact on your business and employees over the coming months.

Employer obligations

As an employer, you have an obligation to ensure the health and safety of your workers. With this in mind, in the context of your business and the Hair & Beauty Industry, consider:

  • Restricting non-essential work related domestic and international air travel

  • Restricting events which require attendance by large groups of people, such as conferences

  • Implementing policies to require employees who have recently travelled or had close contact with an infected person to self-quarantine

  • Requiring medical clearance before someone who has been infected, had close contact with an infected person or has travelled to a high risk area returns to work

  • Continued monitoring of government health warnings to ensure your employees are appropriately protected.

You should be aware of your obligations regarding continuation of pay where an employee has been directed to not attend work. Employees have a right to request altered arrangements to limit their risk of exposure. In some industries, allowing employees to work from home may be feasible. In the Hair & Beauty Industry, this would not be advisable.

As always, communication with employees is paramount.

For businesses generally

It is important for businesses to consider early the possibility of interruption to supply from high risk countries and how to mitigate this risk. From an operational and income perspective, identify the potential impacts from disruptions to key suppliers and forecast how this may affect your business over the coming months. This may allow you to consider any significant changes to staffing and/or stock requirements. Consider also the feasibility of alternative local suppliers and the need for early notification to clients of any anticipated disruption in supplies.

Check your insurance policies. What do they cover? What do they exclude? Implement a business continuity plan. Many large companies, particularly those with an international presence, have implemented a business continuity plan. For the Hair & Beauty Industry this is challenging. However, such a step is important, regardless of the size of your business or nature of your industry. A business continuity plan will look different for different salons but should consider how your business may continue to operate in the event of mass absenteeism.

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