Most businesses have suffered severe losses as a result of the current lockdown. Apart from the businesses in the hospitality and tourism industries who are still not allowed to open under ‘Alert Level 3’, there are many business that, as a result of the financial hemorrhaging they suffered, will not be able to open their doors on Monday.
However, if you are fortunate enough to open-up, you may be faced with the following, and perhaps many other, practical/operational difficulties:
- Although your business may not be functioning on full capacity (which will in all likelihood be the case), and although you will, as a result, not be able to utilize all of your employees, they will expect the remuneration they received prior to the lockdown. This may put severe and further strain on your financial position. Our advice, as articulated in previous newsletters, is that you confront this scenario without any further delay.
- In the weeks and months that lie ahead, you will be faced with multiple, ever-changing (and somewhat nonsensical and confusing), burdensome and very inconvenient health and safety regulations. NEASA's role will be to guide you through this.
- With that, you may be faced with:
- over-eager inspectors with the powers to close your operations and institute criminal charges (in the case of non or partial compliance);
- a scenario where obstructive trade union officials will declare disputes should they be of the view that you are not fully compliant;
- some employees may refuse to come to work because, in their view, since you haven’t introduced sufficient precautions to protect them against the ‘virus’, their health may be at risk; and
- your workplace may be of such a nature that it will not be possible to comply with the requirements of ‘social distancing’.
- In the process of complying with the onerous health and safety requirements, larger employers may also experience difficulty with getting workers onto the work floor.