Buck Bond Group

COVID-19: A guide for employers

Employers worldwide are currently grappling with the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and its impact on workforces, families, suppliers, customers, and business operations. As the weeks progress, many unknowns still remain about the impact of the virus – and this can be unsettling for businesses and employees alike.

Buck is here to help you work through your options and consider the near- and longer-term implications of your people-related decisions.

Supporting our clients

In these challenging and unprecedented times, Buck’s two-way commitment to our clients and our people is more important than ever. As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we are reviewing and adjusting our processes and policies to ensure we minimise customer impact and service delivery disruption.

You can read more about our business continuity planning for pandemics here.

We’ve also worked hard behind the scenes to plan, test, and execute our move to a totally home-based working model, so we can continue to deliver HR consulting, technology and administration support without interruption. As of Monday 23rd March, our highly dedicated teams have achieved and fully implemented this. Find out more about the progress we’ve made in this infographic.

Things to think about

Share plans: what are the benefits? : Pensions, share plans, and financial wellbeing

Many employees will be worried about the volatility of the market and the corresponding value of their pensions and investments. Communicating with your people to remind them of the context of short- and long-term investments will help to mitigate the risk of individuals making uninformed decisions. Plunging share prices will also be a concern for any of your people who are members of company share plans. Communication will again be a key consideration.

Blog: Healthcare trust – large surplus or false sense of security? : Physical and mental health

With huge additional pressures on healthcare services, accessibility to medical providers could be challenging. It’s important for you and your people to know how and where to get help. And with remote working the new normal across many organisations, it’s more important now than ever for employees to look after not only their physical health, but their mental health too. And for them to know where to go to access the support they need.

Blog: Returning to the office : Looking after your people

You need to do everything you can to maintain business-as-usual status without fully knowing what the reality of tomorrow looks like for your workforce. As you move to remote working, working in shifts, or other alternate arrangements, consistent and frequent communication with your people will be essential. It’s important to remember that new living and working adjustments could impact your people’s wellbeing. An employee assistance programme can be a very effective first line of defence for your workforce.

Blog: Communicating in a crisis : Staying connected

If your people are accustomed to working from the office, you’ll need to empower them for success remotely. Not just things like access to email, files, company intranet and pension/benefits information, but also the technology and support to ensure they still feel connected to the business and each other.

Blog: Cost savings through rewards and benefits : Your business health

It’s likely you’ll already be reviewing/making changes to some of your policies and procedures. Without knowing the cost implications of these changes, it’s hard to understand what the true business impact of different scenarios might look like. But it’s important to do what’s right – for your people and your bottom line.

Blog: Flexible benefits and COVID-19 : Your wider benefits and HR issues

In times of uncertainty — amidst quarantine, school closures, social distancing, and country-wide lockdowns — traditional leave policies may not be right. Instead, less traditional or more flexible options might be the right choice for your organisation and your people. It's important to identify potential insurance-related issues for your workforce too. For example, COVID-19 related claims may restrict payments from insurers when it comes to group life assurance, so it’s vital that all employee paperwork is up to date and accurate.

We’re here to help you

If you’d like to speak to a member of the Buck team about how to deal with the impacts of COVID-19 on any aspect of your benefits and reward, we’d love to help.