As you are aware, the Irish Government has introduced unprecedented measures effective until at least March 29th in order to protect the safety of all amid the current outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19. Within these measures, the government has advised that individuals where possible should work from home.
Smith & Williamson Ireland is taking this advice and has implemented our business continuity plans to ensure we can continue to service our clients. The safety and wellbeing of all our stakeholders, including staff, clients and third parties, is our main priority and we are following all World Health Organisation and government guidelines at this time to minimise any health risk to our staff and clients.
The Smith & Williamson team remains committed to our clients and to delivery of the service excellence you expect and deserve.
A planned approach
As a service-focussed firm, we have the systems and flexibility to continue to meet your business needs, especially in challenging times like these. In all cases, we are following our business continuity plan, supported by guidance from the Departments of Public Health and the Government.
Our offices remain open and we have the systems, technology and effective work practices to enable our staff to work remotely and continue to deliver a high-quality service for our clients. Some team members may continue to work on client sites where that is agreed. We have a core management team working from our office and will continue to operate our main office line on 01-4959200. If you have any queries or concerns, please call or email your main Partner contact or you can contact me directly.
We are reducing the number of face-to-face meetings to the minimum possible. We will contact all clients scheduled for meetings in the next two weeks to reorganise these meetings to video conferences, tele conferences or Skype meetings where possible or reschedule to a later date if that is suitable. We will of course partake in meetings at our offices or client offices where necessary during the period.
We will issue separate emails to our clients about Government initiatives, including:
- Revenue guidelines regarding ongoing tax returns and payments;
- Employment payments assistance from Government;
- Banking initiatives and suggested protocols to follow in working with your bank where additional working capital finance may be required during this uncertain period; and
- Enterprise Ireland initiatives to assist businesses facing difficulties as a result of these measures and Covid 19 impacts generally.
While Revenue has announced initial guidance, we expect other government agencies to follow suit. Please do not hesitate to contact us during these unprecedented times if you need our assistance or advice.
We are monitoring events closely as they unfold, adapting our decisions as required and will remain in contact with you. Specific to this unprecedented event, we have already undertaken a number of important steps, which we outline below:
- Testing the capability for staff to work from home and the ability to introduce split-team working and/or staff rotation between home working;
- Staff have been encouraged to hold client meetings by telephone or Skype wherever possible, taking into account client preference and policies;
- Our events programme has been modified and some sessions have been postponed while others will be hosted via technology as an alternative;
- Our approach to business travel remains in line with current Government advice. However, the use of Skype and other technologies, instead of travel, has been encouraged; and
- Daily cleaning regimes across all our offices have been increased for common touch points, such as office entrances and lifts.
Our website, smithandwilliamson.com/en-ie, will be a valuable resource. During this time, we will all face a range of business and personal challenges. Our team are available to support you and your business.