Ensure Organisational Resilience with a Business Continuity Policy


Even the most experienced business owners can be thrown a curveball when faced with an unexpected event. From snowstorms to broadband outages, preparing for the unknown is essential. No company should be without a business continuity plan, that is, a rock-solid plan that keeps business ticking over in case of an emergency.

Despite their best efforts, many businesses cannot survive a catastrophic event. According to the Office for National Statistics, one in 10 UK companies succumb annually to inadequate preparation and planning.

Business Continuity Management has evolved over the past five decades to provide organisations with a lifeline in times of crisis. With its roots in Crisis Management, BCM is designed to reduce and mitigate risk and ensure an organisation’s ability to survive interruption or disruptions. The outcome: ultimately preserving operations while keeping stakeholders safe and secure.



What is a business continuity policy (BCP)?

A business continuity policy is a set of standards and guidelines that an organisation enforces to ensure resilience and proper risk management.

The policy must be updated regularly as technologies evolve and business risks change.

Companies can set realistic expectations for their business continuity and disaster recovery plans with a well-defined and strict business continuity policy. Plus, it helps determine and address issues that may arise during emergencies, allowing for swift action.

Every company’s policy is unique to its industry and requirements, but all contain essential components such as staffing, metrics, and standard requirements.

A business continuity policy is necessary to ensure your organisation can handle any situation.

The business continuity policy should include instructions and procedures for staff members in case of an emergency. It must cover items like:

  • Business processes
  • What to do with equipment and stock
  • Who is responsible for what
  • Emergency contact details
  • Backup power arrangement

How a business continuity policy can help

Why is a business continuity policy important?

A BCP is essential for organisations to ensure resilience, manage risks, meet legal and regulatory requirements, and enhance stakeholder confidence. By creating and adhering to a comprehensive plan, organisations can prepare for unexpected events and disruptions and ensure they can continue their critical business functions.

Multi-generational business planning in business continuity policy involves creating a long-term plan that considers the needs and interests of different generations within a family-owned business. This type of planning helps ensure the continuity of the business across generations, regardless of changes in leadership, economic conditions, or other factors.

Ensuring organisational resilience

A business continuity policy outlines an organisation’s strategies and principles to maintain critical business functions during and after an unexpected disruption. By establishing a framework for resilience, the policy ensures that the organisation can continue its operations, minimise the impact of disruptions, and recover quickly.

Managing risks

A business continuity policy helps organisations determine and manage risks to continue their critical business functions and processes. By conducting a risk assessment and business impact analysis, the policy enables organisations to identify potential risks and prioritise critical functions and processes. This enables the organisation to take proactive steps to mitigate risks and reduce the impact of disruptions.

Meeting legal and regulatory requirements

Many industries have specific legal and regulatory requirements for business continuity planning. A business continuity policy helps organisations meet these requirements by outlining the steps to ensure the continuity of business functions during a disruption. This helps the organisation avoid fines and other penalties for non-compliance.

Enhancing stakeholder confidence

A business continuity policy provides reassurance to stakeholders, customers, employees and investors, that the organisation is prepared to manage unexpected issues. A well-defined policy demonstrates commitment to resilience and risk management, which can enhance trust and credibility.

Do you need a business continuity policy?

A business continuity policy helps organisations demonstrate their commitment to resilience and risk management, which can enhance credibility with customers, employees and investors.  Ultimately, a business continuity policy ensures that organisations can continue to operate, even in the face of  adverse circumstances.

Other factors to consider:

Saves money

A continuity strategy reduces the fallout from a dire situation, resulting in less downtime and loss of income. A back-up plan and resources are available before a crisis arises when a contingency plan is in place.

Saves time

When an organisation has readiness procedures and tools in place, it can quickly enter implementation mode during a crisis rather than attempting to plan and implement at the same time. For example, leave management is an important element of a business continuity policy. TimeTrack Leave Management allows businesses to have clear processes in place, to ensure that critical business functions can continue even with reduced staff resources.


TimeTrack Leave Management

Identifies vulnerabilities

Potential failure spots are identified during the risk assessments that form the basis of a continuity plan. For instance, if all your data is kept in a single location and that site is destroyed, your data is lost.

Critical BC policy considerations

  1. Risk assessment: Is critical to identify potential risks. The risk assessment should consider potential threats such as natural disasters, cyber-attacks, power outages, and supply chain disruptions.
  2. Business impact analysis: Helps organisations identify critical business functions, processes, and assets that must be maintained during a disruption. It enables the organisation to prioritise critical functions and establish recovery time objective (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs).
  3. Communication plan: Ensures that employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders are informed during a disruption. The plan should establish communication protocols and channels and identify key personnel responsible for communication.
  4. Testing and training: Essential to ensure that the business continuity plan is effective and that employees know their roles and responsibilities during a disruption. Testing should be conducted regularly, and the plan should be updated as necessary.
  5. Compliance: Business continuity policy must meet legal and regulatory requirements for their industry. This includes requirements for data protection, privacy, and cybersecurity.

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Identify key stakeholders

  • Who will be involved in the process? This team should include senior management, IT staff, and representatives from other departments that are critical to the organisation’s operations.

Conduct a risk assessment

  • A risk assessment will help you identify potential threats and prioritise critical processes. Consider threats such as natural disasters, cyber-attacks, power outages, and supply chain disruptions.

Timesheets by TimeTrack can help ensure that employees are adequately compensated, labour costs are tracked, and compliance with labour regulations is maintained.


TimeTrack Timesheet

Perform a business impact analysis

  • A business impact analysis will identify important functions, processes, and assets that must be maintained during a disruption. This will enable you to establish recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs) for each function.

Develop business continuity strategies

  • Based on the risk assessment and business impact analysis, compile strategies to maintain critical  functions during and after a disruption. This may include back-up systems, alternative work locations, and communication protocols.

Establish roles and responsibilities

  • Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of key personnel involved in implementing the business continuity plan, including senior management and IT staff.

Develop the policy statement

  • Draft a policy statement that outlines the organisation’s commitment to ensuring business as usual.

Develop policy components

  • Elements to include: policy aim, objectives, scope, risk assessment and business impact analysis. Also, plan development and implementation, communication and awareness, compliance, monitoring and review.

Testing and training

  • Conduct regular testing and training to ensure that the plan is effective and that employees know their roles and responsibilities during a disruption.

The bottom line

A sound business continuity policy is essential for organisations to succeed despite interruptions, chaos and emergencies. Firstly, it provides a roadmap to maintain operations through any foreseeable disruption, ensuring minimal impact and maximum resilience.

Additionally, a BCP offers an array of benefits such as risk management, legal compliance, and stakeholder confidence-building. Ultimately, it can be the difference between success and failure in the face of adversity.