Business owners need to consider how coronavirus (COVID-19) could impact their employees, customers, and workplace. Aside from preparing for employees to potentially be absent, business owners need to consider items like availability of supplies, decreased customer/consumer traffic, and what to do about inventory that moves too fast or too slow in this climate.
To help employers know how to prepare, we’re sharing information from our friend Desmond Joiner with HealthOne80 who assists our staff with high deductible health plans.
What You Need to Know
Employers are obligated to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for their employees, but are also subject to a number of legal requirements protecting workers. For example, employers must comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in their approach to dealing with COVID-19. You can learn more about each of these acts on pages 3-4 of this PDF.
Additionally, it’s recommended that you proactively educate employees on the virus, specifically how it’s spread and how to prevent it. If one person in your workplace contracts the virus, it can quickly spread to others, leaving your company with a shortage of available employees. Here is a PDF you can send to your employees to help educate them.
Finally, it is recommended that you establish a written communicable illness policy and response plan. Your plan should include how to communicate with employees about staying away from work when they are sick and working from home if necessary. Items to cover in your plan could include the following:
- Workplace safety precautions
- Employee travel restrictions
- Provisions for stranded travelers who can’t return home
- Mandatory medical check-ups, vaccinations or medication
- Mandatory reporting of exposure
- Employee quarantine or isolation
- Facility shutdowns
How Avizo Can Help Your Business
We want to assure business owners that we can assist in recovery if your organization is negatively impacted. Businesses big and small in a variety of industries may soon feel a financial impact from the current response to the spread of COVID-19. Travel and event restrictions have already started to impact restaurants and tourism-based retailers. Supply depletion such as a lack of masks, gloves, and gowns could be affecting medical professionals. Since each business could face different scenarios and issues, now is the time to prepare for your specific situation.
As the owner of a business, consider meeting with your CPA consultant if you think your bottom line is going to be affected. Taking precautionary actions to protect individual’s health and well-being is the same as preparing for a threat such as a hurricane. It’s best to prepare, but if you are negatively impacted, know that we are here to help you recover.