Over a fifth of respondents say they still don’t have a pandemic plan and process in place - International SOS

In a new survey by International SOS, over 70% of companies’ primary business continuity concern is further disruption from a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While there is a keen focus on return to work measures, over a fifth (21%) of the respondents still don’t have a pandemic plan and process in place. Furthermore, over 20% expect mental health issues to also pose a major threat in the coming year.

The survey revealed business operations impacts of COVID-19, as well as the key mitigation measures organisations are prioritising to strengthen. It analysed responses from over 1,000 professionals responsible for supporting the health, safety, security, and wellbeing of employees.

Dr Mark Parrish, Regional Medical Director at International SOS, commented, We are surprised that, while the great majority of companies are fearing a second wave of COVID-19, there are many who still don’t have a pandemic plan in place.”

The survey found that the top two priorities organisations are implementing in their safe return to work are updating business continuity plans (60%) and on-the-ground support for colleagues (59%).

These are followed by implementation of COVID-19 compliance monitoring tools (56%)health screening (50%) and mental health support (44%).

“It would seem that there are many who are missing out on protecting their people and their business,” said Dr Parrish. ”We should be mindful that there may be a layering of issues, such as security incidents and concurrent health issues, which all need to be addressed alongside the continuing pandemic and as we return to work and operations.”

“There are ‘low hanging’ initiatives that seem to come further down the priority list but could be major risk mitigation assets. For instance, TeleConsultation helps support employee health in all circumstances, including lockdowns and when physical medical consultations are not advised and not necessary.”