COVID-19 – how to minimise the impact on how your dental practice is running as a business
Figurit are specialist dental accountants and want to do everything we can to support all dental practices during this uncertain time. We are offering sound, expert financial guidance and assistance, to help you maintain efficient and safe business operations and patient services.
With so much information our there, we recommend a clear, sensible, pragmatic and well-informed approach based on open communication between all members of the dental team. This is a worrying period for most business owners; dental practice owners must also ensure they continue to deliver exceptional patient care, while keeping things running smoothly. So let us share some of the load.
Start with the basics
- Ensure everyone in the dental team is up-to-date with the government’s advice on COVID-19. This can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response. The site contains the latest guidance for businesses and employers and much more.
- Ensure there are extra precautions for anyone who is particularly vulnerable, such as pregnant women. Again, consult the government’s latest guidance.
- Ensure everyone’s contact details/emergency contact details are up-to-date.
Take care of your team, including working from home
- The government has recommended that people work from home, where possible, to curb the spread of the virus. Although this is not always possible for people who work in a clinical setting, if home working is agreed on, usual pay will apply. If you need impartial advice about how the team could be restructured, we can help. If you wish, or need to speak to an employment lawyer, we can introduce you to one, or to a HR advisor.
- What I cannot stress enough is, to ensure smooth operations, give all dental team members the means to communicate with each other during this pandemic, whether they are in the practice or working from home. It is a worrying time for all of us, for many reasons, so ensure they can all speak freely with you, and each other.
On a contract, or self-employed?
- Most dental practices will have both contracted employees and people who provide their services on a self-employed basis. Even in “regular” times there are different rules regarding things like reducing someone’s contracted hours, or making lay-offs. In these stranger times, you may even decide – or need – to close the practice for a short period of time and all rules are subject to change anyway. You must speak with an employment lawyer or HR specialist for specific, expert advice to keep within the law and ensure you are doing all the right things by your team.
- Finally, communicate, communicate, communicate! Keep everyone in the loop and explain all your decisions fully.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
- The government has recently announced a package of changes to help all employers through this period, including bringing forward legislation to allow them to reclaim SSP paid for sickness absence due to coronavirus. Give us a call if you need anything explaining, or how these measures could benefit your practice.
This situation is fluid and fast moving and things are changing all the time. Keep informed, keep talking and contact Figurit for guidance – we will do our best to help your business find a smooth path through this tough time, so you can continue to deliver the highest quality service.
For more information call Figurit on 020 7376 9333.