In preparation for the risk of a large-scale epidemic and the impact this may have on our staff, business, and continuity of services to our customers, this policy has been prepared to support the planning of our emergency preparedness and response, the communication of requirements to our staff, and external communication to our key stakeholders.
Further information and the latest guidance on the COVID-19 virus is to be referenced from official sources including:
As general guidance, to protect themselves and others, staff will be asked to:
Wash their hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
Always wash their hands when you get home or into work
Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash their hands afterwards
Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
Do not touch their eyes, nose or mouth if their hands are not clean
Additional hand sanitisers and tissues will be made available as necessary within offices building, restrooms and for site-based teams.
It is not currently advised by the government that the wearing of facemasks is necessary unless persons are a symptomatic individual and have been advised to do so.
Will be asked to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people immediately if you (or household members / other close contacts) have travelled to the UK from any of the high-risk areas notified by the government.
As this is subject to frequent change, the latest information on the internet must be referenced:
Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
Do NOT come into work – inform the office by telephone.
Site Visits & Travel
Where employees are required to visit customer’s premises, there will currently be no restrictions on continuing with activities in line with government guidance, unless we are informed of a local outbreak at a client’s site in which case the site activity will be immediately suspended and an emergency telephone meeting held with the client to ascertain the action that is being taken.
In the event of public transport services being suspended, this is likely to have little impact on our operations with company/private vehicles being the primary source of travel. Staff should contact the office if this may pose an issue in getting to work.
As a general precaution, driving rather than getting the train should be the first choice where reasonably practicable for the immediate future.
Should we be unable to deliver our contractual obligations due to quarantine requirements outside of our control, this will be documented with each client in writing, and an individual action plan created. Where this may result in a breach of contract requirements for our customers, or create other health and safety risks, these activities will be prioritised.
The operational delivery of site based teams and remote teams will be closely managed to ensure we can continue to provide our clients with an effective, except in extreme circumstances. This may involve cutting down social interaction between teams, creating smaller mobile teams that work remotely from company premises and contract managers working remotely.
The prevention and hygiene measures set out in this document will be closely observed by site based teams and interaction between our staff and client personnel will be kept to a necessary minimum.
Business Meetings & Conferences
External visitors and company meetings are to be restricted to what is strictly necessary. Where possible these meetings are to be postponed until the epidemic is under control.
The attendance at conferences and larger public gatherings is to be avoided.
All international travel is to be subject to an individual risk assessment to justify and reduce risk so far as is reasonably practicable. Travel to high risk areas is suspended until further notice.
In the event of a confirmed case involving a member of staff who has recently been in the office, or has interacted with other members of staff, an emergency meeting of Director’s will be held (remotely if prudent) to consider closure of the office.
Should this be implemented, all staff will be notified by telephone.
In preparedness for closure the following steps have been taken:
Staff contact details have been reviewed and are verified as current
Remote access/VPN capacity has been reviewed, to support additional workers at home
Laptop computers have been prepared, to support working at home (in line with existing Information Security policy requirements)
Telephone diversion capability has been reviewed
During this period, unless unwell, it will be necessary for staff to work from home using company supplied equipment to maintain services to our clients.
Post may need to be diverted/delayed, and the Director’s will be responsible for reviewing and managing this requirement during this time.
An external service will be contracted to undertake deep cleaning prior to reoccupation. This will require a minimum of 72 hours isolation prior to entry and the methods outlined by the government will be followed:
Any contact with self-isolating staff will be done remotely.
Should staff be able to work from home, remote access will be established for them, pay will be unaffected by this change of working.
Should staff be well, but unable to work due to mandatory office closure, remote working procedures will be put in place and pay will be unaffected by this issue.
Should staff be unwell, and unable to work, this will be in line with the company’s standard sick pay policy and your contract of employment. Statutory Sick Pay will be available from day one as advised by the government.
Should staff be well, but unable to work due to self-isolation, then a discussion will be held at this time, with the option to take sick leave or annual leave considered, in accordance with government guidelines.
Workers who have pre-existing conditions which may place them at higher risk are requested to notify management, if not already aware. This may include: Weakened Immune System, Asthma, Pregnancy etc.
Any worker who is considered to be at higher risk will be excluded from client meetings, event attendance and travel where possible.
Time Off for Dependants
Standard HR arrangements will remain in place.
If staff are assisting a dependant with a known/suspected case of Coronavirus, then they must also commit to a period of self-isolation to protect your colleagues.
To address the risks of disruption and delay to essential services on projects and ongoing contract delivery, the following guidelines will be observed:
Key contractors are to be kept updated with company Coronavirus policy changes as they are developed to meet current Government advice. The requirements of this policy are to be closely followed by all contractors, and the activities of contractors are closely overseen by our contract management team.
The standard set out in this policy will be closely adhered to by all contractors, and they will be given our full support to ensure compliance.
Monitoring of contractors policies and practices to ensure safe and effective service delivery will be ongoing, and will be developed to meet changes in Government advice.
Supply Chain Management
Key suppliers are being closely monitored by our procurement team to ensure continuity of supply. When we become aware of the potential disruption in the supply of essential materials and products that are key component for service delivery and safe work, all reasonable effort will be made to set up alternative providers. Where it is not possible to source specific products, we will work closely with clients’ representatives to provide acceptable alternatives.