Majority of UK businesses believe coronavirus will negatively impact them

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More than three quarters of employers in the UK believe the coronavirus outbreak will have a negative impact on their business, a study from CV-Library shows.

The survey of 250 UK businesses sought to understand the impact of Covid-19 on organisations across the nation.

It found that 55.1% of businesses admitted that they’re worried about the virus spreading throughout their workplace.

91.6% of companies surveyed are taking a proactive approach to reducing the spread of coronavirus, including promoting best practice for hygiene (87%), enabling employees to work from home (73.4%), reducing business travel (54.1%) and cancelling events (33.8%).

Alongside this, two-thirds (62.2%) of UK employers believe the coronavirus outbreak will have a negative impact on their hiring efforts.

“We already know that the outbreak of Covid-19 will have a profound effect on UK businesses; no matter how big or small they are,” said Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library.

“In particular, consumer-facing industries such as aviation, hospitality and retail are already suffering as travel restrictions set in and the nation grows more cautious of social events.

“While many organisations are taking measures to prevent its impact, the sad truth is that the worst is still yet to come and we’re currently hanging on the government’s every word until we know what to do next.

“At the same time, a lot of businesses have put their hiring plans on hold until there’s more clarity in the market.

“With global stock markets plummeting, companies are nervous about investing in their recruitment plans and this is having a knock-on effect on the industry as a whole. For now, all we can do is sit tight and do what us Brits do best: keep calm and carry on.”

9.2% of companies say that they wouldn’t know how to handle an employee being diagnosed with coronavirus, while 11.1% don’t know their company’s policy around long-term sick leave.

Despite this, 79.7% said they think employees should be paid during self-isolation, even if they aren’t unwell.

Mr Biggins added: “While the government is likely to advise home working for all employees in the near future, some companies have taken matters into their own hands and already introduced it to help reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading in the workplace.

“But we must take into account the huge percentage of the workforce who aren’t able to work from home. Unfortunately, businesses will lose customers, workers will lose their jobs and the UK economy will suffer.

“For that reason, we’re calling on the British government for more clarity and advice surrounding Covid-19.”