Envest Group COVID-19 Response

Envest working remotely during the COVID-19 crisis

Envest is working closely with all its business interests to prepare, plan, respond and manage the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on staff, clients and business operations.

The team at Envest has moved to a remote working arrangement to provide ongoing support to its businesses, comply with best practice and ensure the health and safety of our people. To get in contact with us, please email our Communications Manager megan @ envest.com.au or our Office Manager Dianne @ envest.com.au

Earlier in the month, the Envest Risk Management Team prepared a framework for our businesses to respond to this crisis. We share this framework below in case it is of help to you and your business planning.

Develop internal and external communication plans

  1. Internal communications should include; providing staff and contractors with clarity around expectations, human resources procedures (see below), job security, office cleaning/ hygiene and contingency plans in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case.  Also please provide your staff with links to reliable information sources and encourage them to maintain positive and proactive communications with customers and clients.
  2. External communications including; proactive policy management, business hours and response, helpful advice and reassurance, resources and reliable links. Future updates and standardised responses.

Proactively manage human resources

  1. A Critical Incident Manager should be appointed to ensure that employees are familiar with the business continuity plans and comply with them during this period.
  2. Implement a plan for the continuity of leadership in the event of absence of key decision makers and executives.
  3. Consider flexible work arrangements for the high-risk employees, as well as employees who need to stay at home due to other reasons relating to the novel coronavirus (nCoV), e.g. to take care of family members who are affected by the virus.
  4. Defer all non-essential business travel both international and domestic and utilise alternative meeting methods such as teleconferencing and videoconferencing.
  5. Employees who have been issued with a self-isolation order should monitor their health closely for 14 days.  Temperature checks should be made twice a day for 14 days. They should seek medical attention promptly if they feel unwell.
  6. During the 14-day self-isolation period, flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting and teleconferencing, should be considered for employees to work from home.
  7. Exercise readiness to implement public health response measures, e.g. contact tracing and social distancing, as advised by the relevant authorities.

Complete a process and business functions audit

Identify critical business functions (prioritised activities) and essential employees. Enterprises should consider the following:

  1. Consider setting up alternate teams of employees (e.g. Team A & Team B) who can be deployed at different work schedules
  2. Establish remote access facilities for core business functions.  These functions will include electronic file access, access to core transaction/policy admin systems, finance systems and telephony.  For those with cloud-based infrastructure this should be a relatively simple exercise.  For those with on premise server infrastructure, remote access capability will need to be established.  Phone services can be diverted from landlines to mobile services where virtual access is not available.
  3. Cross-train workers and establish covering arrangements to minimise disruptions
  4. Educate employees on infection control and good personal hygiene.
  5. Develop plans related to visitor and employee screening.

Undertake financial modelling

  1.  Scenario testing on cash flow position should be undertaken to determine if material changes in incoming revenue or outgoings are likely to place the business under strain from a commercial and regulatory perspective.
  2. Consideration of portfolio profitability (where applicable) particularly where there is travel, transit or business interruption exposure.
  3. Consideration of future adjustments to underwriter risk appetite based in pandemic impacts.

Manage your regulatory risks

  1.  Consideration of any regulatory impacts of not being able to meet legislative or code of practice standards due to service degradation.  This should include early engagement strategies will appropriate authorities.