Across nearly 30 industries, over 250 survey participants have shared your plans and policies to enable learning across industry peers. We thank you for your responses which provides a view of business readiness in Singapore.

As a proud contributor to the Singapore (SG) Community, we’re putting our best teams forward to help you manage and limit the impact of COVID-19 on your people and businesses. Our live webinars from February 17 – 21 answered your questions on business continuity planning, health & safety, mobility and business travel, adaptive working, and employee communication & engagement. Recordings of our webinars are immediately available for your reference. Q&As consolidated from the webinars will be available from February 27.

Commence your business continuity plans

Lim Sek Seong | Vice President, BCM & Resilience Service Leader (Asia), Marsh Risk Consulting

Q1: What does a robust business continuity plan for COVID-19 look like?

Q2: Under what circumstances should employers activate a split team working arrangement?

Q3: What alternative approaches may be deployed in cases where employees are not allocated laptops or notebooks?

Safeguard your employees with robust health coverage

Neil Narale | Partner, Mercer Marsh Benefits Singapore

Q1: In times of a pandemic outbreak, what does robust corporate medical and travel coverage look like?

Q2: Does private insurance extend coverage to COVID-19 cases?

Q3: What options can employers deploy to help employees normally not covered by corporate insurance?

Take Action Now

The impact from a potentially worsening Wuhan coronavirus outbreak to your business could be severe, but taking these steps now can help you better prepare, plan, and protect people and operations.

Review, test, and potentially update critical plans related to business continuity, crisis management, and crisis communications. While examining existing plans, consider the potential effects a worsening outbreak could have on employees, revenue, suppliers, reputations, and more and work with other stakeholders to prepare accordingly.

Pay particular attention to:

  • Travel policies. If travel to Wuhan is necessary, the CDC recommends avoiding contact with sick people; avoiding animals, animal markets, and meat and other animal products; and frequently washing hands. Returning travelers exhibiting symptoms should immediately seek care and avoid contact with others.
  • Employee wellbeing. Monitor updates from public health officials and governments and keep employees informed and educated about the outbreak and any steps being taken to safeguard their health. Encourage employees to remain home when sick and telecommute if the outbreak worsens.
  • Supply chains. Identify operational and revenue impacts from potential disruptions to key suppliers and vendors. Also consider the feasibility of sourcing goods, ingredients, and component parts from alternative suppliers.
  • Insurance coverage. Review applicable insurance policies, prepare for potential claims, and consult your broker if you have questions.

Response Planning

Organizational preparedness to manage a disease outbreak like the CoronaVirus includes emergency response, business continuity, crisis management, and crisis communications. As you monitor the progress of emerging pandemics or epidemics, review, exercise, and update or otherwise adjust response plans, including crisis management, crisis communications, and business continuity plans.

To remain resilient, answers to these critical questions come to the fore. For example:

  • Which products and/or services are of greatest value and how would revenue be affected?
  • Will our plans work in the event of border closures, travel restrictions, or reduced exports of certain commodities?
  • What if we lose critical people, or have staff working from remote locations?
  • Will the fear of infection affect our key customer base?
  • How should we engage with public health and government entities?
  • Who should we involve in our response efforts?
  • How can we position the organization to respond positively?

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Response planning

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Develop clearly defined pandemic response escalation thresholds specific to your operations so that individual facilities, divisions, and regions can identify potential health threats early and act appropriately to protect your employees, businesses, and revenue streams.

Also review critical suppliers and vendors and potential operational or sales impacts if they were to be affected by an outbreak, while also considering alternative and/or geographically dispersed suppliers and vendors.

Costs of epidemics and pandemics are high. For businesses – both large and small - potential risks include:

  • Loss of workforce due to travel restrictions, death and illness.
  • Increased employee absenteeism and lower productivity due to family care obligations, social distancing, and fear of infection.
  • Operational disruptions, including interruptions and delays in transportation networks and supply chains.
  • Reduced customer demand.
  • Reputational damage if an organization’s response to an outbreak is seen as ineffective or if its communications with internal and external stakeholders are seen as incomplete or misleading.

Our Pandemic Readiness: Risk Finance and Mitigation Strategies report gives solutions to insuring against pandemic risks.

cover image of Pandemic Readiness report

Pandemic Readiness - Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The Cost of Epidemics and Pandemics
  • Response Planning
    • Employee Well-Being
  • Insuring Pandemic Risk
    • Property and Business Interruption
    • Workers' Compensation and Employers Liability
    • Commercial General Liability and Excess Liability
    • Group Travel Insurance
    • Claims Considerations
  • Conclusion

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Related articles

Download "2020 Singapore Pulse Survey Results - Manage COVID-19"
Download "Pandemic Readiness" report
Speak with a Mercer consultant
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