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  • Keep your Business Running

Keep your Business Running

UAE Government has been actively taking steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we all need to be aware of the steps taken and consider them adequately within our business. One of the priorities should be to help and support employees and partners to work within the parameters laid down by the Government while continuing the operations. We are in uncharted territory, given the unknowns in the current environment, many business have to assess the potential impact on their operation.

The UAE government has advised that all organisations adopt effective and flexible business continuity management (BCM) arrangements. This will help ensure that any impact and associated disruptions are minimised. Regardless of whether your business has a robust BCM plan, a partial plan or no plan at all there are immediate steps which you need to take. 

Our experts in business resilience and continuity have compiled a list of some of the key areas that your organisation should consider:

Organisations should identify and gather a team of leaders and internal stakeholders to form a ‘response team’ with representation from all business areas. The role of the response team will be to develop, and regularly monitor and update, a plan tailored to your business. The first priority for the team is to identify the critical processes that need to operate and assess whether you can conduct critical processes and access your systems if away from the office.

Organisations should establish a communications programme with pre-approved messages and scripts for various stakeholders, including employees, customers, supply chain partners, insurance companies, and where appropriate regulators.

Companies should provide sufficient and accessible hand washing facilities or hand-hygiene products to reduce the spread of infection. You should also consider more frequent cleaning on premises, and specific cleaning of shared facilities such as lifts, toilets and keyboards.

Establish policies for Salary payments, IT Privacy policy, Sick-leave absences specific to the pandemic, including policies on when a previously ill person is no longer infectious and return to work protocol after illness. These policies must be guided by the latest Government advice.

Ensure remote working technology is able to cope with the potential large increase in the number of users. Make use of alternative communication channels such as video conference and virtual meeting software. It is important that normal Information Security protocols are followed to prevent data leakage. Staff should be reminded not to use personal emails for company communications and to keep data secure by avoiding laptop hard drives or removable media. Appropriate communication channels should be used to inform staff of any IT problems or downtime which may impact on remote working.

Have discussions with your insurers about possible business impacts of the pandemic. Be absolutely sure you understand what you are and aren’t covered for.

During a crisis, it is easy for people to forget best practice. They may no longer take normal precautions and fall for email phishing or other types of fraud. This is a good time to remind and educate staff on internet scams. In addition, the physical security of offices should be properly maintained while staff are working remotely.

If you’d like more information about your approach to your response to this fast changing situation, please contact - Shivendra Jha