By Amy Bell, Director of Legal Futures’ Associates Teal Compliance
Like many business owners the impact of Coronavirus has been on my mind this weekend.
With the possibility of large events being cancelled, public transport affected the disruption could be like nothing we seen in recent memory.
Whilst I hope it can be contained, as a Compliance person it won’t surprise you to know I’ve been thinking about planning!
I’m sure many firms will have considered the risk of an illness on the office – as a trainee in 1998 I remember our boss arranging for us to all have the flu jab – but possibly your plan doesn’t cover this new threat.
Here are 6 things you can do to prepare.
Consider your business continuity plan, it is likely you have contingencies in place should people not be able to work in the office. If you have remote access to your computer systems in place, where people can work from their own machines, check their cybersecurity measures are up to date.
Remind everyone about confidentiality when working at home. If people are working from home make sure they are not leaving files in cars, or where they can be seen by visitors or other family members.
- Key Dates
Check your key dates have been recorded correctly in case of unexpected absences. If someone is keeping key dates and reminders in their own diary, you will need to make sure other people can access that diary in the event of illness.
- Update clients
Let clients know if your firm is closing temporarily for a deep clean, or if their lawyer is going to be off for some time.
- Limiting face to face contact
If the outbreak becomes more widespread you might want to consider how you can deal with the issues you usually deal with face to face including meetings and obtaining client due diligence documents. Consider Skype/Zoom calls instead for meetings and electronic verification for client due diligence. Our blog about electronic verification will help you understand the options. https://www.tealcompliance.com/single-post/2020/02/02/The-benefits-of-Electronic-Verification You might also want to consider postponing events and home visits.
- Support for the COLP and COFA
Make sure you have a deputy for the COLP and COFA should they become absent from the office. Whilst you can’t outsource the COLP or COFA role, if you need support in the short term, let us know, we can help.
Let’s all hope for the best but prepare for the worse.