Business continuity planning for a pandemic

Planning for pandemic risk management should start early and be geared to the 4 phases of pandemic planning (the PPRR model):

  • prevention
  • preparedness
  • response
  • recovery.

Proposed actions should comply with existing workplace relations and health and safety frameworks.

Business continuity plan

Every business needs a business continuity plan. It sets out how you will prepare for a pandemic and continue to operate after the disaster. It will help to minimise recovery time and reduce your business losses.

As part of the planning process you need to:

  • identify core services, and what is needed to maintain the supply chain
  • identify staffing arrangements, such as telecommuting, succession planning and cross-skilling
  • protect the health of staff
  • develop a communications strategy for employees, customers and suppliers
  • consider financial implications, such as cash flow, cost increases and insurance
  • identify contingency plans for the unexpected
  • schedule how the plan will be tested and updated.

Your business continuity plan should include the following 4 elements:

Risk management plan

Risk management planning for a pandemic involves identifying risks, assessing the impact of risks and developing strategies to manage risks to your business.

Business impact analysis

A business impact analysis assesses how risks identified in your risk management plan might affect business operations. It identifies activities that are critical for the survival of your business and prioritises what has to be done to maintain them.

Incident response plan

An incident response plan outlines actions to limit the loss of life and property before, during and immediately after a pandemic.

Recovery plan

A recovery plan aims to shorten recovery time and minimise business losses following a pandemic. It sets time frames for resumption of usual business operations.

Also consider...