Being A Small Business Employer During COVID-19
Being a Small Business Employer During COVID-19
Being a small business employer during COVID-19 has been challenging. Particularly so if you are classed as BAME, over 65 and have Type 2 Diabetes. You exercise five times a week and keep semi isolated by mixing only with family and other semi isolated people. Add to this you have had to work through the whole lockdown period to keep your company going. This has been without a break and has included some weekends. Even so revenue streams were only just sufficient to pay for stock, infrastructure costs and those staff members not on or only partially on furlough.
But what happens when staff return to work?
Staff returning to work after COVID-19 Furlough are entitled to annual leave at full pay for the period they were on Furlough. This is the same period during which the business was unable to generate income through their work. So you take a government loan to assist with the situation with the hope you can pay it back.
It has been and remains a difficult time for a small business employer and any opportunity to get some relief from the stress is welcome.
What opportunities are available?
Opportunities have come in many forms. The “eat out to help out” scheme https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53911505 was great but then as admitted by Boris Johnson it “may have helped” to spread the virus https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/eat-out-help-out-spread-22793772 . There is evidence that the offer was largely shunned by older people hence the level of infection in this group is for now still relatively low.
One had hoped to gradually get back to going out to restaurants now that the euphoria of 50% or £10.00 off a meal offer had finished. However in Scotland pubs and restaurants went into lock down again last weekend. Now parts of northern England are going the same way . With infections heading up more restrictions are inevitable.
The opening of pubs was also great. However similar concerns were expressed over transmission so the pubs had to close at 10.00 pm. The consequence of this was that large numbers of people in cities all mingling as they leave and make their way home.
Cinemas similarly are now closing, and night clubs have by and large never opened.
Travel Corridors allowing flights for both business and social reasons to certain countries without the need to quarantine on return were OK for a time and then are not.
It appears every door that opens very soon seems to shut or at least partially shut again.
So what can the Small Business Employer do?
It all seems rather hopeless for a small business employer with the conflicting COVID-19 advice coming from those in authority. So my common-sense approach for employers is as follows:
- As there is very little risk of COVID-19 outside this is a good place to meet people.
- Latest indicators are that the incidence of infection from touching potentially contaminated surfaces is limited. Though a new report for Australia counters this and suggests that it can remain active for a month. So continue with the frequent handwashing just to make sure.
- Keep your employees at a safe distance unless you know them well.
- Use masks over nose and mouth whenever inside shops and other indoor areas.
- Choose carefully those you associate with outside to ensure they adopt similar standards to you.
- Finally work your butt off to keep sane.