Effective Christmas Shut Down Plan Can Ensure Stability For The New Year

Published December 07, 2020 -

The weeks leading up to Christmas are crucial for businesses making up lost revenue following an unprecedented year of lockdowns and restrictions.

While many may attempt to operate almost every day over the holiday period, others will shut down for several days or weeks through to the new year.

Employsure, New Zealand’s largest workplace relations advisor to more than 28,000 small to medium sized enterprises, is urging employers closing down over Christmas to have a plan in place to keep employees and customers informed.

“Having a clear temporary closedown plan will not only provide piece of mind to workers and clients, but it will also help you manage leave and avoid further potential loss of income,” said Managing Director Ed Mallett.

“Employers don’t want to walk away on the final day of the year feeling like they have left the iron on. An effective plan, like a checklist, can help an employer complete what needs to be done at the workplace itself, and what needs to happen outside of it.”

Employees should be told well in advance when a business owner plans to temporarily close. If employees are required to take annual leave during this time, the relevant legislation needs to be complied with.

Any person that deals with the business needs to also be notified of the planned closure. Clients and suppliers should be contacted via phone or email, the landlord should be informed, as well external contractors, such as cleaners. An out-of-office email or voicemail can assist with this.

Over the closedown period, it’s recommended all electrical appliances and facilities in the workplace that don’t need to be left on should either be switched off or put on a timer. Computers and sensitive documents should be backed-up, secured or shredded, and fire alarm batteries should be checked or replaced. Security systems should be checked before leaving, and all windows and doors should be locked.

“The last thing an employer needs following the horror year we’ve had is the stress of not ensuring loose ends are tied up before their business shuts for the holidays,” continued Mr Mallett.

“Taking a break is important for the mental and physical wellbeing of staff and ultimately leads to better efficiency in the workplace.

“Taking the appropriate steps will give them that peace of mind, and hopefully will lead to a strong start to the year when they return in January.”

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