Skip to main content

Retail, leisure and hospitality COVID-19 webinar 21 April Q&A

Cyber Risk Management|Risk Management Consulting
COVID 19 Coronavirus

May 26, 2020

Following our recent webinar, we had a number of questions from attendees.

This Q&A provides general advice from a risk management perspective. Every business is different, so please speak to your broker or risk advisor for specific advice around your business.

What cyber scams are being used to lure unsuspecting people?

There’s no doubt the regular pattern of scams have been joined by scams based around COVID-19.

You should create a culture of ensuring authenticity before reacting to emails, calls and texts.

Keep up to date via Willis Towers Watson, Action Fraud and National Security Centre for free advice.

What other cyber-related issues do we need to consider when recovery commences?

Discuss the IT that you’ll need, and who will need access to it.

Every business is different, but one thing every business should be doing is planning your recovery. Discuss the IT that you’ll need, and who will need access to it.

There are three main ways lockdown might end, so start by discussing your plans for each of them:

  1. An immediate removal of lockdown – this is highly unlikely, but what would you do if it happened?
  2. A phased recovery that brings a second wave of infections leading to a return to lockdown.
  3. A phased recovery where there’s no second wave.

How should we verify the resilience of our suppliers?

The most important thing is to speak to your suppliers. Ask to see their continuity plans and any testing they’ve done. Understand their plan to continue supplying to you as a valued customer.

Despite all the measures we have in place to monitor employee mental health, we know that staff are logging on very late at night and into the early hours. Could we be doing more?

This really depends on the individuals concerned. Working from home does enable employees to have more control over their day, and some people may find they simply work better later in the evening. Or they may be home-schooling children during the day and are able to be more productive once their children are in bed.

You might need to move away from a 9-5 culture while employees are working from home.

But you also need to be aware of people burning the candle at both ends – if they’re working very late, or regularly logging on to work in the early hours, then it’s a cause for concern. They may be having trouble sleeping due to stress or anxiety. Check in with them to ask them if everything is alright and whether there’s anything you can do to help.

Will we see an increase in claims for stress in light of COVID-19?

There is certainly the potential for this to happen. However, for a claim to be valid, the stress has to be caused by work and not by other factors. So, stress caused by fear of contracting COVID-19 wouldn’t apply, but stress caused by inadequate PPE or social distancing protocols in the workplace would.

Claims for stress tend to be very case specific, so check your employee liability policy to understand your cover and what you should do to mitigate the risks.

How can we frame recovery from COVID-19 as an opportunity?

This time is a chance to reflect on the resilience of your business and an opportunity to think about how to become more resilient going forward.

From a wellbeing point of view, it’s a great opportunity to think about the way you work, create mentally healthy ways of working, and build prevention into how you work going forward.

Although remote working has been increasing in recent years, it’s only since the pandemic started that we’ve seen such an increase in information about how to work from home and remain both physically and mentally healthy.

There’s also an opportunity for businesses to review their property requirements. Many head offices have been forced online, but business is continuing almost normally. So many businesses are already asking if they really need as much floor space as they currently hold.

Similarly, retailers may take the opportunity to change their trading patterns – moving away from the high-street to operate more online.

Finally, an annual review of you supply chain strategy could lead to a quieter, quicker supply chain with increased availability and resilience.

Once the crisis abates and we return to some kind of normal, remember to debrief from it. Review how each area of your business responded and what could be done differently. You can find more advice on debriefing here

More information

Visit our COVID-19 coronavirus content hub to find more guidance, resources and information about COVID-19 and how to manage the risks that come with it. Alternatively, please contact your Willis Towers Watson representative for further information and guidance.


Each applicable policy of insurance must be reviewed to determine the extent, if any, of coverage for COVID-19. Coverage may vary depending on the jurisdiction and circumstances. For global client programs it is critical to consider all local operations and how policies may or may not include COVID-19 coverage.

The information contained herein is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied upon in lieu of consultation with your own legal and/or other professional advisors. Some of the information in this publication may be compiled by third party sources we consider to be reliable, however we do not guarantee and are not responsible for the accuracy of such information. We assume no duty in contract, tort, or otherwise in connection with this publication and expressly disclaim, to the fullest extent permitted by law, any liability in connection with this publication. Willis Towers Watson offers insurance-related services through its appropriately licensed entities in each jurisdiction in which it operates.

COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation and changes are occurring frequently. The information given in this publication is believed to be accurate at the date of publication shown at the top of this document. This information may have subsequently changed or have been superseded, and should not be relied upon to be accurate or suitable after this date.


GB Industry Practice Leader – Retail and Leisure & Hospitality

Related Solutions

Contact Us