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The Covid diaries: Day 24 -Permanent and Pervasive?

The Covid diaries: Day 24 -Permanent and Pervasive?

A daily fly-on-the-wall blog about running a legal business during the Covid-19 crisis.

By Dónall Breen - 20 April

Permanent and Pervasive?

My colleague Ursula recently shared a great video with me - see here.

In short, the video talks about coping strategies for businesses in the current environment. It is well worth watching the video (at a very manageable 10min).

The two biggest takeaways for me were:

1. This is not permanent, even if it feels like it;
2. Everything is not awful, even if it feels like it.

The argument is fantastically cogent. And as they say, to a man with a hammer everything is a nail. To this blog, everything is an employment law issue.

Unavoidably, employers need to be sensible and take precautions. For example, this morning the government opened up the online Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) portal so that businesses can start claiming back wages for furloughed employees. Excellent! Let's get on to that immediately. Inevitably, there were widespread reports of crashes and bugs but by evening it seems the system was stabilising.

However, HR departments should also remember that in all likelihood the workforce will be back to a new normal relatively soon (if not so already). The panic is not permanent. Planning for the (medium to long term) future still needs to happen, even if those plans are subject to change. Not everything is in ruins - the usual run-of-the-mill tasks still needs to be done and avoiding them now will do you no favours in the future.

Whilst a 10min YouTube video isn't going to solve the world's problems, I think it is also important we all start to read up a bit of resilience. Now more than ever, having the ability to cope under pressure may be the defining attribute of a successful company.

As someone wiser than me once said, the person who thinks they can and the person who thinks they can't are both usually right.

If you would like to read our Covid diaries starting from day 1 please click here.