The coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic presents some risk of disruption to services. The current situation is as follows:
16 Dec 2020: Services are running normally, but with high workload.
Following a period of disruption due to a school isolation period, normal working hours have now resumed. Whilst workload is currently high whilst a small backlog is cleared, new projects that are small or with longer deadlines may be able to be accepted, depending on requirements.
Please be aware that due to the festive season, there will be a number of days that I will not be working. Please see the Christmas and New Year Working Hours announcement for details.
Whilst a degree of normality is now returning, the situation obviously still remains precarious and further disruption is a possibility. Please follow the Twitter account (primary means of emergency announcements), the new Facebook page, and/or this website to keep up-to-date.
The General Situation
As a freelancer/sole trader, the impact of COVID-19 has so far been low with limited hours lost. However, the situation can still easily change with the disease having a greater impact on my ability to deliver services. For this reason I am taking additional care over the number of projects I accept at any one time.
Now that schools have re-opened, the most likely biggest source of disruption to services is through a sudden requirement for self-isolation by my child’s school “bubble”. If this happens, my availability to work may be severely interrupted for the duration of that isolation. That could be short in the event of any test being negative, or for two weeks or more in the case of a positive test or tests.
There is also a possibility of disruption should schools need to close again, as before the summer, but based on that experience I would hope the impact would be minimal.
Aside from the schools situation, availability can change quickly and all clients (current or potential) are advised to check back on this page from time to time and to follow @bgproservices on Twitter for updates.
In the Event of Disruption (non-sickness).
In the case of any disruption, I will do what I can to minimise the impact for existing projects but may have to limit the number of new projects that can be accepted from any client, existing or new.
For existing projects, mitigation may mean changing some working hours into evenings, but I would not expect to be able to completely make up lost time in this way. I may also need to revisit deadlines or project scope, and in certain cases potentially cancel where it is not possible to make those changes. In any case, I would remain in close contact to ensure that clients know what is happening.
In severe cases I may need to suspend services entirely. See below for how this would be managed.
In the Event I Contract the Virus / Service Suspension
If I contract the disease myself and suffer symptoms, all services will be suspended during recovery, as would be the case for any sickness. I may also need to suspend services in the event of other severe disruption.
If you have projects open with me, I will try as far as possible to keep in contact with you so that you are informed directly.
In an emergency situation that suddenly takes me away from work with little to no notice, individual communication may not be possible. Should this happen, I will prioritise sending an emergency message via Twitter. I recommend that all clients, particularly those with active projects, follow the Twitter account (@bgproservices). Clients should set their Twitter apps to alert to posts from this account (go to @bgproservices in the app, click follow, and then click the notification bell).
Where your deadlines will be impacted by a service suspension, my sickness and cancellation policy will apply where you will have the following options:
- To cancel the service with no delivery. In the event that money has been paid for the service, You will be issued a refund after recovery. There is no further liability.
- To cancel the service accepting work done so far. Where money has been paid for a full service, a partial refund will be offered after recovery. Where money has not been paid, you will be invoiced based on the work completed to date. This option may not be available in an emergency.
- To postpone the service. The project will continue after recovery. Where a revised later deadline date is required, a one-off discount of 20% will be offered.
The coronavirus situation is likely to continue to be fast-changing. If you have projects open with me then please ensure you remain contactable by email for any service updates – and again, please follow the Twitter account (@bgproservices).
Last updated: 15 September 2020.