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Our most valuable asset is our people. Therefore, a core component of our business continuity efforts is around pandemic planning. We believe pandemic planning and response efforts are a continuous cycle of information sharing and teaming with experts to help prevent, contain and recover from life threatening infectious diseases and viruses impacting our people and our clients.
While COVID-19 presents new challenges, PwC’s approach to managing external risks remains the same — including our commitment to the safety of our people and having an open dialogue with internal and external stakeholders. Our Business Continuity Program is executing our pandemic plan with our leadership team. Here are the key actions we’ve taken:
Given the current levels of concern about the COVID-19 pandemic, we have prepared the below Q&A to help answer any questions you may have around our actions and our ability to continue with the provision of services.
Our team has identified four phases to manage the cycle of a potential pandemic threat and the importance of managing timely information. They include:
Monitoring: Reviewing and monitoring global activities as they relate to the spread of infectious diseases and viruses.
Detection: Identifying the location and spread of medical cases with consideration given to the pandemic phases defined by the World Health Organisation. Collecting data to allow for effective decision-making and preventive measures.
Response & Containment: Responding to data, assessing the impact and implementing responsive measures.
Recovery: Applying business continuity plans to restore normal operations, e.g., staffing levels.
Two of the key aspects of PwC’s pandemic plan are maintaining active staffing levels throughout the pandemic’s duration and working to reduce exposure to the virus. This approach includes the following factors:
Identifying staffing needs for the next three-, six-, and twelve-month periods, both by business unit and at a firm level
Taking pre-emptive action to reduce pandemic exposure risk
Leveraging staff across the Caribbean region to support impacted client service teams
Understanding the speed of the lifecycle of the infection, from contraction through treatment, to inform our response
Understanding the rate of increase of pandemic cases in geographic locations
Working closely with Human Capital leaders to make informed predictions in a timely manner that will lead to effective short- and long-term staffing decisions and solutions
Serving our clients and doing everything possible to protect the health and well-being of our people are our priorities. Given our mobility as an organisation and our robust technology infrastructure, our people have the capacity to work virtually for an extended period of time. This arrangement gives us flexibility to manage client responsibilities even during potential disruptive events that may threaten our operations.
PwC is a network of member firms across the globe. As part of PwC’s global business model, a Global Relationship Partner is responsible for all aspects of our relationship with each global client (including business continuity and incident response).
We have a network standard for business continuity and incident response (including pandemic response plans), against which each member firm is assessed annually.
Governance and oversight are provided at network level by our Network Incident Response Team.
As a globally distributed business with substantial depth of available specialist resources in the various regions in which we operate, we have the capacity to redeploy people as circumstances require.
Everyday flexibility is part of the way we work at PwC, which means that our people are able and equipped to work remotely, including from home, at another PwC office or elsewhere.
If it were to become impractical or undesirable to travel to meet face-to-face, your PwC engagement leader will work with you to agree on suitable alternative ways of working (e.g. via video conferencing).
If you have particular concerns, please talk to your PwC engagement leader.
We’re in touch with our suppliers and service partners who have contractual obligations to have appropriate plans and arrangements in place to ensure the continuity of the supply of goods and services to PwC.
We maintain an appropriate inventory of core technology and other products essential to running our operations.
We’ve updated our travel guidance and will continue to do so as the situation evolves. At this time, we have issued business travel restrictions to staff and stated that all non-essential business travel be deferred until further notice.
We’re encouraging the use of virtual options for collaboration and meetings.
Anyone returning from an area on our restricted travel list is required to self-quarantine at home for their first two weeks back before going to the office or a client site. Please reach out to your PwC engagement leader for a current list of restricted travel areas.
Further or additional territory specific responses may be determined to be appropriate, check with your local PwC contact for further information.