Has the business continuity plan been properly tested before being mobilised? What actions should be taken now versus in six months time, and are there alternative ways of managing risk? Independent risk assessments, crisis management planning, scenario testing, financial feasibility studies and outsourcing non-operations functions are some of the ways to help mitigate and manage an organisation’s risk throughout the pandemic lifecycle.
Business continuity plans
Pandemics can damage an organisation’s business operations, financial performance, employee health and wellbeing, supply chains, stakeholder confidence, and can even drive a company out of business.
Insurance programs can help reduce financial impact, but should not be relied upon as the only source of protection. Organisations need to build insurance as a part of a comprehensive risk management strategy. For example, by focusing on pandemic business interruption risks and strategies designed to reduce and mitigate the impact of such potentially highly disruptive risks, Marsh Risk Consulting (MRC) can help organisations improve their business resiliency and protect their brand. This can be done through:
- Supporting the identification of business critical activities and functions;
- Reviewing or developing Business Continuity Plans;
- Providing specific and detailed response guidance;
- Running scenario workshops to test and develop strategies to improve continuity; and
- Training employees on how they can understand and action the plan in the event of a pandemic (or another type of business interruption).
Liability risk management
With the outbreak of a pandemic, companies potentially have new liability exposures that they may not have previously anticipated. In order to manage these new exposures, an organisation needs to first identify and understand these risks. It will then be well positioned to develop loss control and mitigation measures to reduce its liability exposures, mitigate losses, and ultimately protect its brand reputation.
Some of the increased liabilities that may arise due to a pandemic include:
- Employee and third party liability – Eg. Liability arising from individuals who are exposed to the virus at work, on your premises, or from coming into contact with your employees.
- Management liability – Eg. Liability arising from how senior management prepares for and responds to an outbreak.
- Directors’ and Officers’ Liability – Eg. During or following a pandemic, shareholders may file litigation alleging, among other things, a lack of preparedness for the potential effects on corporate operations and revenues.
Marsh Risk Consulting (MRC) can provide risk management advice on how to effectively control these risks and reduce their impact on an organisation. In the current environment, organisations may wish to consider conducting a COVID-19 Risk Assessment as an initial step.
For more information, or to arrange a conversation with our MRC team, please contact your broker.
Pandemic rapid response advisory
Typically, there is no longer time for preparedness once we are in the middle of a pandemic outbreak, as companies strive to make decisions live in response to a rapidly evolving situation. These decisions can have significant impacts on employees, operations, shareholders, customers and the future viability of the business.
During this period, Marsh Risk Consulting (MRC) can provide Pandemic Rapid Response advisory. We will place “boots on the ground” to help you develop a 30 day action plan. Leading or becoming part of your business continuity / crisis management team, we will provide data and insights to assist decision making, draft communications and ensure that you have the full resources of Marsh at your disposal to navigate through the pandemic.
For more information, or to arrange a conversation with our Marsh Risk Consulting team, please contact your broker.
Outsourced WHS and workers compensation solutions
As companies seek to reduce costs and respond to the financial implications of the pandemic, ultimately a decision needs to be made around what roles are essential to ongoing operational viability, versus what roles or functions can potentially be outsourced to reduce costs while still maintain functionality.
Whilst not core operational roles, functions such as injury management, return to work, workplace health and safety (WHS) and wellbeing are still essential to ensure injury prevention and effective workers compensation outcomes. These roles can be outsourced to a service provider who specialises in these areas and can manage and deliver these functions to the business, allowing organisations to free up resources and focus on their core business operations.
Our Recovre team currently delivers outsourced WHS and workers compensation services to a number of businesses that have realised the benefits and flexibility outsourcing arrangements can deliver. One of the key benefits of an outsourced arrangement is that you get access to a team of specialist resources with diverse skillsets and experience as opposed to an individual. Outsourced arrangements can also be more cost effective, providing employers with the ability to ramp up or down without recruiting and retraining.
For over 30 years, Recovre (Marsh’s in-house safety, rehabilitation and return to work specialists) has been known as a leading Australian provider of customised workplace health & safety and workplace rehabilitation service solutions to help individuals and organisations realise their full potential.
For more information, or to arrange a conversation with the Recovre team, please contact your broker.
Following a pandemic, companies have an opportunity to diagnose the effectiveness of their response, the causation behind any losses and identify what lessons were learnt. This can be valuable data that can inform the Business Continuity Plan, and better prepare an organisation for the next crisis that might occur.
Marsh Risk Consulting can conduct a COVID-19 Debrief Workshop and interviews with key staff to:
- Identify and benchmark the overall effectiveness of the pandemic response;
- Identify the causation of any losses and what was behind any decision making or if events were outside of your control; and
- Make recommendations on lessons learnt and how these can be factored into future business continuity and crisis management plans.
These workshops can be tailored to your organisation’s specific situation and needs. For more information, or to arrange a conversation with our Marsh Risk Consulting team, please contact your broker.
We are here for you
As COVID-19 continues to affect how we all do business and interact with one another, we are committed to continue to deliver timely and relevant information to our clients and broader community. If you have any questions or would like to have a conversation about the impact coronavirus is having on your business, please reach out to your Marsh representative, or email us here.
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