Introduction

In light of the uncertainty we all face with the outbreak of the Coronavirus, our priority is to make sure that ourselves, other workers, and the community are kept as safe and healthy as possible.
After completing a risk assessment, we have identified several changes that need to be made to the office environment which are outlined in this policy.

Application

This policy applies to all employees attending the office.

‘High Risk / Vulnerable or Highly Vulnerable Employees‘
If you have an underlying health condition that places you in a highly vulnerable or vulnerable category, additional measures may need to be put in place to keep you safe. Please raise this with your Manager and inform a Partner so the right support can be provided.

‘Shielding Employees’
If you have a letter from the NHS that states that you are required to ‘shield’ you should not attend the office. You should discuss with your Manager the options available to support you and keep you safe.

Working from home

Following Government Guidance, the Company supports employees working from home where it is possible for them to do so. A separate home working policy is available.

There may be instances where work cannot be carried out from home due to the necessity to access certain equipment, to attend necessary meetings, where the employee needs increased Management support, or where the employee feels that that the home environment is unsuitable. Under these circumstances the Company will support employees to work from the main office by ensuring that safe measures are in place to protect them and others from the spread of Covid-19.

Fitness for work

  • If you are displaying any symptoms of Covid-19 a fever or a cough or if anyone in your household is displaying symptoms, you should report yourself absent from work by following the absence reporting procedure. You will then need to follow the Government guidance regarding isolation periods.
  • If you are displaying any symptoms of Covid-19 a fever or a cough or if anyone in your household is displaying symptoms, you should report yourself absent from work by following the absence reporting procedure. You will then need to follow the Government guidance regarding isolation periods.
  • If you experience any of the Covid-19 symptoms while at work, you should report your absence to your Manager and use a safe method of transport to go home/ or to seek medical help if needed.
  • All absence should be recorded firstly to the Line Manager and also the HR and Health & Safety Management team using the absence form. Clear reasons need to be given for each period of absence. Note: The Company has a duty to track any covid-19 related absence for H&S reporting.

Travel to and from work

  • Wherever possible you should travel to site/office alone using your own transport.
  • There is sufficient parking at the Office for everyone.

When travelling to another office location /or client site you should:

  • Check parking arrangements for cars and bicycle.
  • Where you cannot travel alone by car, consider other means of transport to avoid public transport e.g. cycling as per Government guidelines.

Work scheduling & office capacity

  • You may be asked to stagger your start and finish times to reduce congestion and contact at all times. Your Manager will advise you if this applies to you.
  • Taking into account the ability to maintain safe distancing in the office, the maximum capacity in the office is limited to 80% people at any one time.
  • You should only attend the office when scheduled to do so, to attend key meetings ensuring safe distancing is maintained, where the work that you are required to carry out cannot be done from home, or when you have otherwise been instructed by your Line Manager.

Building access

  • Access to Office is via normal routes, whilst waiting to enter please keep a minimum of 2m distance from the person waiting in front of you.
  • You must go to the bathroom facility and wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water.
  • At the end of your workday you are required to wash your hands prior to leaving the office.
  • While walking around the office keep within the 2m rule.

Desk plan / seating arrangements / office equipment

  • All seating arrangements are now organised to ensure that a 2-metre distance is kept between workstations.
  • Only use your allocated desk. Do not use ‘empty’ desks for sitting or for putting belongings.
  • Hot desking is not permitted.
  • You should not share office equipment such as pens. Please keep equipment for your own use such as pens, stapler etc.
  • Alcohol hand sanitiser should be used before and after using the photocopier or other shared office equipment, when it is absolutely necessary for you to use these.

Hand Washing and Hygiene Measures

  • Always follow the Government guidelines when washing your hands.
  • Gloves are available for everyone that requires them or would like to use them.
  • Hand gel dispensers have been placed around the office. These are to be used in addition to but not in place of proper handwashing.
  • Anti-bac spray is provided on each desk bank. This should be used to wipe your workstation at the start and end of each day.
  • After using the bathroom facilities please wipe all used surfaces with the anti-bac spray using a paper towel and dispose in the bin.
  • To maintain standards of hygiene additional cleaning of bathroom facilities will take place each day.
  • Our risk assessment has not identified the need for employees to wear surgical masks in the office environment. However, should you wish to use a face covering this Is optional and you should do so following the Government guidelines.
    • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on, and after removing it.
    • when wearing a face covering, avoid touching your face or face covering, as you could contaminate them with germs from your hands.
    • change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it.
    • continue to wash your hands regularly.
    • change and wash your face covering daily.
    • if the material is washable, wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s not washable, dispose of it carefully in your usual waste.
    • practise social distancing wherever possible.

Kitchen & eating arrangements

  • Only 1 person is permitted to use the kitchen at any time. After use you should spray any surfaces and equipment that have been used and wipe with a paper towel that should be disposed of in the bin.
  • Basic food items will be provided such as bread, milk, biscuits. However, employees are requested to bring a packed lunch to the office with them.
  • Single use utensils and cups will be available. For environmental purposes it is beneficial that employee bring their own utensils and mug. Or use one of the office mugs and keep for their own use. This will need to be washed and stored in the employees desk each day.
  • Fruit will no longer be provided. We will be kept under review and will reinstate when safe to do so.
  • Teams should not share snacks in the office. But can consider using individually wrapped products.
Meeting attendance
  • Only absolutely necessary meeting participants should attend.
  • Attendees should be two metres apart from each other.
  • When the weather permits consider using the space outside to hold meetings.
  • Rooms should be well ventilated / windows opened to allow fresh air circulation.
  • Consider holding meetings via Microsoft Teams or other similar IT solutions.
  • The board room will be in use with a maximum capacity of 4 people. Chairs should be spaced according to the 2-metre rule.
  • The breakout room (used as lunchroom) can be used as single use, for example to take video calls or for a maximum of 2 people to eat lunch.

Deliveries and visitors

  • All parcels/post and deliveries be left in the lobby with a hand sanitiser in there and all bulk deliveries can be unloaded at the back of the yard keeping social distancing.
  • Visitors to the office should be kept to a minimum. Many Companies will be following the same rules and reducing contact. Always consider if a meeting can be held via phone or video.
  • All visitors will be signed in by the Receptionist and the pen by the signing in book has been removed to prevent multiple use.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact the management team for support. If you see any breach of these measures please report this to your Manager.

Paul Brown, Managing Director
27.05.2020