HABIC COVID-19 Update 12th Mar 2020

HABIC : COVID-19 Update 12/3/2020

Covid-19: Advice and precautions for hair and beauty businesses in Ireland.

Advice and precautions for hair and beauty businesses in Ireland.

HABIC in an effort to support the hair and Beauty industry has compiled a review of relevant information/sources that may be of help to you, your enterprise and employees. Throughout this email you will find links to important relevant printable posters, plans and guidelines to assist you.

We urge you to fully review the below information:

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has raise the level of the Virus to a Pandemic and following on from our previous correspondence regarding COVID-19 (AKA Coronavirus), at the time of writing this (12/03/2020). The National Public Health Emergency Team have now recommended Ireland move into the Delay Phase and are recommending Social distancing where possible.

As of 11/03/2020 there are 43 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland and one death. In each case, the National Public Health Emergency Team was notified and these patients are in isolation and a full investigation into other people who may have been in contact with the patients will be underway. This is known as contact tracing.

The severity of the COVID-19 situation is becoming apparent, as a society and an industry we are in an unprecedented situation.  Therefore, it is of paramount importance that you take this seriously, make adequate preparations while remaining calm. Maintain in as much as possible Business as Usual, while also implementing increased health and safety precautions to protecting your customers, employees, yourself and your business.It is important to operate on a factual basis and take your information from a reliable sources HSEHPSCWHO, GOV.ie

It is important to operate on a factual basis and take your information from a reliable sources:  HSEHPSCWHO, GOV.ie

Today (12/03/2020) Ireland introduces new measures as part of our effort to interrupt the transmission of COVID-19. (Source; Gov.ie)

  • individuals who have symptoms should self-isolate for a period of 14 days
  • individuals should reduce discretionary social contacts as much as possible
  • elderly or medically vulnerable people should reduce as much as possible contacts outside home
  • there should be no mass gatherings: a) involving more than 100 people if located indoor. b) involving more than 500 people if located outdoors closure of museums, galleries and tourism sites
  • closure to students of schools, creches, other childcare facilities and higher education institutions.
  • reduction of workplace contacts, and implementation of remote working practices and teleconferencing where possible and not to travel for meetings. Work time and break times should be staggered, where possible.
  • restriction of visiting at hospitals, long term care settings, mental health facilities, prisons, and spacing measures in homeless shelters 

As a public facing service industry, operating in close contact with the public it is important that you make provision for your business. It is important to have a Business Continuity Plan in place, we urge you to take the time to consider this plan now if you have not already done so, and to research and review the below information to protect your organisation, your staff and yourself.

Business Continuity Planning

Checklist of preparatory actions in responding to COVID-19(Source dbei.gov.ie)
Checklist for businesses who want to plan ahead with regard to coronavirus can be found HERE

A Business Continuity Plan template can be found (Source dbei.gov.ie ) HERE

Guidance on COVID-19 for employers (Source hpsc.ie). For Business/ Employers there is Guidance on COVID-19 for workers dealing with the general public found HERE

Printable information COVID-19 posters and Hand washing posters are available HERE. (Source hse.ie)  HSE also advise putting up these official COVID-19 information posters:

Information for Employers and Employees in regard to COVID-19 from the Citizen Information Office can be found HERE(Source Citizen Information)

Support from the Workplace Relations Commission can be foundHERE;
Contact information for the WRC can be found HERE

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation announced supports for Businesses Impacted by Covid-19 (Source; dbei.ie)

For more information click HERE

  • A €200m Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) Working Capital scheme for eligible businesses impacted by COVID-19. Loans of up to €1.5m will be available at reduced rates, with up to the first €500,000 unsecured. Applications can be made through the SBCI website.
  • A €200m Package for Enterprise Supports including a Rescue and Restructuring Scheme available through Enterprise Ireland for vulnerable but viable firms that need to restructure or transform their business.
  • The maximum loan available from MicroFinance Ireland will be increased from €25,000 to €50,000 as an immediate measure to specifically deal with exceptional circumstances that micro-enterprises – (sole traders and firms with up to 9 employees) – are facing. Applications can be made through the MFI website or through your local LEO.
  • The Credit Guarantee Scheme will be available to COVID-19 impacted firms through the Pillar Banks. Loans of up to €1m will be available at terms of up to 7 years.

Revenue

If as an organisation you are experience difficulty in making payments to Revenue. Engage early with Revenue- Key advice to businesses experiencing tax payment problems (Source; revenue.ie) For additional information Click HERE;

Collector-General, Mr. Joe Howley outlined that Revenue will engage with any viable business that experiences temporary cashflow difficulties, including difficulties arising from exceptional circumstances such as the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.

The Collector-General said that “Revenue is aware that when temporary cashflow issues arise for a business, it can be a worrying time in terms of the ability to keep an otherwise good tax compliance record on track. Rather than hope that such payment difficulties will fix themselves in time, I would strongly encourage affected businesses to take the following practical steps:

  • continue to send in your tax returns on time
  • engage early with us if you run into, or are facing, difficulty in paying your tax. 

We have condensed the official information about how this might affect Irish businesses.  The official consensus is that it is time to be cautious and prepared therefore it is important to:

  •  Understand what are the ‘high level’ impacts an outbreak could have on your business, and prioritise the most impactful ones.
  • Consult within your staff or your employer, you need to talk to them immediately and be pro-active about the situation at hand. This is anxious time for all, engaging with your team will help eliminate some of this anxiety.
  • Implement Operating policies and guidelines in regard to COVID-19.
  • Consult with your suppliers to ensure that you have continuity of supply of goods is essential.
  • If you find yourself in financial difficulty, it is wise to consult with the Revenue, the banks, landlords and suppliers to see what measures can be facilities to avoid penalties, closure or job losses.
  • Consider where you would be able to access replacements workers if your own workforce was to be significantly impacted.
  • Review your employment contracts and contact the WRC and your HR provider for professional advice.  ISME have issued advice to employers HERE The HR Suite have issues advice to employers HERE

Protecting against the Coronavirus

According to the HSE, the coronavirus is spread in sneeze or cough droplets. You could get the virus if you come into close contact with someone who has the virus and is coughing or sneezing, or touch surfaces that someone who has the virus has coughed or sneezed on.

Measures to protect yourself and those in your business from contracting the virus include washing your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub, and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze.

Click the link HERE to view a HSE video on how staff working in healthcare can prevent the spread of infection.

It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) to show.
Symptoms may include:

  • a cough
  • shortness of breath
  • breathing difficulties
  • fever (high temperature)

Covid-19 (Coronavirus) can also cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
Things you can do to protect yourself from getting Covid-19 (Coronavirus) include:

  • wash your hands properly and regularly
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze

Wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub:

  • after coughing and sneezing
  • after toilet use
  • before eating
  • before and after preparing food

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