Whilst we are far from out the other side of the coronavirus crisis, with restrictions easing further, now seems like a good moment to take stock of some of the changes we and our clients have gone through over the last several months.
Along with many other businesses, we spent the early part of March rapidly risk assessing and moving our operations to a working from home environment. Our staff responded magnificently and we expect that greater home working will form a consistent part of our business model in the future.
Back to the office?
If you are thinking of bringing staff back into the office to work, don’t forget that – for now at least – the government advice remains that staff should work from home wherever possible and only come into their place of work if it is essential.
You will need to conduct a risk assessment and consult with your staff about this. You may also need to consult employee representatives. We can help with this and with interpreting the Covid 19 Secure government guidance and how that should work for your particular business.
The furlough scheme has been a major assistance to businesses in enabling them to retain staff and flexible furlough should help employers to respond to changes in their resourcing needs whilst still accessing help. Changes in the grant levels are now forcing employers to evaluate what their requirements are as the support is gradually withdrawn. We are already providing employment advice to clients who need to consider restructuring their teams.
Please contact Katrina Smiles if you need help with managing any staffing challenges.
Money, money, money
We have had some notable successes in helping clients access grant funding from the various government schemes, even where initial applications have been turned down. For some clients these applications have been the difference between their businesses surviving or not and we are only too delighted to have played our part.
Cash flow and debt management are always important issues and especially critical at the moment.
Contact Philippa McDonald if you have any concerns in these areas. Philippa can also help with landlord and tenant issues.
Business Challenges and Opportunities
Meanwhile for other clients it has been business (almost) as usual. Deals have been done and businesses both bought and sold. Matt Cook who heads up the Commercial team has had a very busy couple of months including advising The Key Support Services Limited on their acquisition of the share capital of Ortoo Technologies Limited, a business that started in 2012 and develop the successful Governor Hub MIS and Scram Group Limited on their acquisition of Mutts and Hounds, the premium British lifestyle brand for dogs and their owners. If lockdown has made you re-evaluate your business plans, please contact Matt for some advice.
Our commercial and investor property teams have been working closely alongside their clients during this period, working to take advantage of opportunities where they arose and responding to the rapidly changing business landscape. Andy Price (investor) and Adrian Beddow (commercial) are on hand if you need help.
The Circle of Life
Of course, the daily press briefings made us all take stock and consider actions like will writing and powers of attorney, topics we might sometimes prefer to avoid but which now look like just common sense. Vicky Bligh is vastly experienced in the field of private client work and estate planning and is on hand to assist with any concerns you may have.
Finally, our residential and new homes teams experienced some of the most immediate changes to their work. Viewings, surveys, valuations, and house moving itself all came to a shuddering halt in March. But things are once again “moving” in the property world and Julie Milton and Henry Lowson are here to help you navigate the challenges and excitements that the process of buying a new home always brings.
Fees a Concern?
Talk to us about Bright Subscribe, our subscription offering for business services. For a fixed monthly fee you get access to a range of help including updating your terms and conditions, your employment documentation and assistance with your debt recovery matters. We also provide HR and employment law advice as part of the service.
We know that challenges remain, but the team at Bright is optimistic about our future and confident that we can give you the best advice for your own.