Following the very sad news of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, many of you may be concerned about how best to operate your business over the coming week.
While there is no obligation for you to acknowledge the current period of mourning in your business, you may wish to do so in some way.
The following guidance has been issued by the Government and the BRC (British Retail Consortium) to help you decide how best to act.
We are currently in a period of 10 days of mourning, after which there will be a state funeral on Monday 19th September.
The day of the state funeral will be a ‘day of national mourning’ and has now also been declared a Bank Holiday for all nations of the United Kingdom.
As with all Bank Holidays, the decision to close your business on the day of the state funeral or to give employees leave is a matter for you as the employer.
During the Period of National Mourning
If you wish to mark the death of the Queen in an appropriate manner, in line with other companies across the retail industry, here are some suggestions for the approach you could take:
Acknowledge the news in your business and be mindful of the impact of the news on team members.
Publish social media posts acknowledging the Queen’s passing on all your business social media channels.
Pause all other social media content. Consider whether planned posts are essential and should be made in this period; ensure all content is in keeping with the national mood.
Create a pop-up message of condolence on your website and consider temporary design changes to mark the news, e.g. a black ribbon or banner.
Pause and review any website promotions to ensure they are appropriate for the circumstances.
Pause and review all marketing and advertising campaigns to ensure they are appropriate for the circumstances.
If you play music in your shop, turn it off or switch to an appropriate playlist.
Pause any shop promotions that could be deemed not in keeping with the national mood.
Adhere to any national minute’s silence as announced by the Government.
During the period of national mourning, update employees on your approach and consider the wishes of any employees to attend memorial services during work hours.
Military veterans or reservists in your business may wish to take part in events so consider any requests for leave for this purpose.
Consider the needs of employees who do not wish, for whatever reason, to participate in national mourning.
Review any planned business announcements during the mourning period and consider whether they should be made; ensure all content is in keeping with the national mood.
Consider a post to welcome the proclamation of the new Monarch.
On the Day of the State Funeral:
Pause all social media content, website promotions and marketing activity.
Continue to display pop-up message of condolence and temporary design changes on your website. These can be removed after the funeral.
Turn off music in your shop.
Communicate with customers any impact on them, e.g. decisions on shop closures, deliveries, click and collect.
Make arrangements to observe two minutes silence.
Some of this information may be subject to change, but you can read further guidance here:
Official National Mourning Guidance