Close to 40 per cent of business are preparing for a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Ireland, a new survey by the Association of Compliance Officers of Ireland (ACOI) has found.
The survey found that 37 per cent of businesses were working on a revised business continuity plan in case of a second wave of the virus, while a further 28 per cent had already done so.
The survey of 600 of ACOI’s members also found that continuity planning had been essential in “helping Irish businesses respond effectively to the Covid-19 pandemic and stay afloat over the last few months”.
CEO of ACOI Michael Kavanagh said businesses are now trying to get ahead of the curve: “While we have passed the peak of the initial shockwave of the pandemic, as has been evidenced by recent events, the country is very much bracing itself for a possible second wave, especially the business community.”
“There is a great sense of urgency within the business community to try keep pace with the rate of change, and if possible, to get ahead of the curve in the event of a second wave.”
It comes as 91 per cent of organisations who responded to the survey said their business continuity plan had been a success during the pandemic.
Mr Kavanagh said it was unlikely that businesses had had to fall back on these plans in some time: “Possibly the last time businesses had to turn to their business continuity plans on such a large scale was when the ‘Beast from the East’ hit Ireland in 2018.
“However, the pandemic has brought a completely different landscape and an enduring raft of challenges never before encountered by businesses – in our lifetime at least.”
The survey also looked at the impact of the pandemic on the compliance professionals, finding that almost 70 per cent said that demand on their skills had been greater in recent months.
It comes as their role to ensure a firm is in compliance with outside regulatory requirements as well as internal policies was heightened by the need for businesses to respond to public health messaging during the Covid-19 pandemic.