How will coronavirus impact my club?

Coronavirus has infected over 100,000 people at the time of writing, and shows no sign of slowing. This is understandably a concern for any business, particularly clubs that open their doors to members of the public every day.

So what do you need to know about the virus and how it could impact your club?

Do I need to close my club?

Our advice is to not close your business unless you are specifically told to do so by a competent authority. If you shut your club voluntarily, you may not be covered.

Instead, focus on developing and testing a Business Continuity Plan. This makes sure you are taking steps to protect your club if the worst-case scenario happens. For example, you should start making the following plans:

  • Reduce and limit opening hours and days if needed, and thoroughly plan so you are aware how reduced opening hours may impact your club’s finances and how you can overcome this long-term
  • If a person with confirmed coronavirus has visited your club, thoroughly disinfect and sanitise your premises. Work with health officials and follow their advice and precautionary measures to help keep your staff and members of the public safe
  • Be prepared for altering your club’s operations. You may need to change or close areas of your club – so be prepared for this and have a communications plan in place
  • Upskill members of your team so key tasks aren’t reliant on just one or two individuals (such as locking up, banking takings etc)
  • Trial flexible and remote working if possible. If you aren’t serving members of the public, do members of staff really need to be on-site?
  • Create a communications plan. Make sure all employee contact details, and emergency contacts, are up to date. Assign responsibility to a selection of individuals to stay updated on official advice and reports, and make sure key information is distributed to all staff
  • Make sure hygiene and risk management information is shared with both staff and customers. Display posters around your club advising people to wash their hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds, and cough or sneeze into a tissue or their sleeve. You should also make sure hand sanitiser, tissues and paper towels are readily available at your club
  • Be aware of employee rights. If you ask employees to stay at home, you must pay them. If an employee is advised to self-isolate, they are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay from day one. You have a responsibility to ensure the safety of your staff, so you must be fair with staff who need to self-isolate, look after an ill dependent or contract coronavirus themselves. If a staff member is not ill but doesn’t want to come into work, you could consider allowing them unpaid leave but you are under no legal obligation to do so
  • Continually conduct risk assessments, ensuring you’re doing everything you can to minimise the risk of coronavirus occurring at your club. Routinely clear all frequently touched surfaces with disinfectant and ask staff members to wipe down surfaces before each use

Am I insured for coronavirus?

In short, it depends on your policy. Some insurance policies will cover you for Business Interruption or Non-Damage Denial of Access for Notifiable Diseases. However, there may be specifications and limitations stated in your policy.

Our advice is to always check the Terms and Conditions of your policy, and speak to your insurer or broker if you have any specific questions.

What will happen to my events?

If your club is running one-off events, such as a football match or a pub quiz, you may need to cancel or postpone it. This is because events attract a large gathering of people, which could accelerate the spread of coronavirus.

Take a look at your upcoming events calendar and make preparations to cancel or postpone events if advised to by a competent authority. Being prepared for such eventualities will help your staff efficiently put a plan into action should the worst-case scenario happen. Try not to allow public anxiety to impact your club – only cancel events if you are officially advised to by an official authority or the Government.

If you have specific questions about your policy, please contact our team.

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Sophie Joelle

Sophie Joelle