Introduction

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown is eased, we recognise that our company needs to return to normal operations where possible and adapt to new ways of working where required. This policy explains the changes to our working environment and new ways of working.

We encourage you to let us know if you have any concerns, have identified any potential risks, or have any suggestions for further adaptations we can make – you can do this by emailing Lisa Hale.

 

In advance of your return

Using the office is by no means mandatory in any way, and if you have long distances to travel this is impractical and not expected.  If, however, you would like to return to the office to work then we are making this possible provided that, you have a safe way to travel to the office that you are comfortable with and that you have registered your days with Lisa Hale.

Lisa will be keeping a register of the days that you attend, so please advise with at least 24 hours’ notice if you wish to attend the office, so that we can ensure safe working conditions and avoid the potential for overcrowding. Due to the current restrictions of the layout, initially we will be limiting the number of people in the office to 4 at a time on a first come, first serve basis.

With the above in mind the office shall be open for normal working hours Monday – Friday from Tuesday 6th April 2021.

Workers with serious underlying health conditions who have been advised to shield against coronavirus should continue to do so for the duration of their shielding period. Workers in other vulnerable groups, such as pregnant workers and those aged 70 or over, should work from home.

 

If you, or someone you have been in contact with, has coronavirus symptoms

It is absolutely essential that if you, or anyone you live with, develops a:

  • Fever, particularly a high temperature (ie a temperature of 37.8 degrees or over);
  • Continuous cough; or
  • Loss of sense of taste or smell,

you do not attend work and self-isolate in accordance with the Government’s guidance.

Anyone with symptoms should arrange to have a test to see if they have COVID-19 – see here for more information on how to get tested.

You should also not attend work and self-isolate if the NHS “test and trace” service alerts you that you have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus – see here for more information on what happens if NHS test and trace service contacts you.

In line with our sickness absence reporting procedure, you should notify Lisa Hale by email or text message before you are due to start work, or as soon as possible if that is not practical.

 

Travel to and from work

We encourage workers to minimise their use of public transport, including by walking or cycling where possible.

Where you need to use public transport, please think about social distancing, where possible keeping your distance from others and avoiding touching surfaces and avoiding peak travel. You must follow the Government’s rules on wearing a face covering on public transport.

Workers using public transport may find it helpful to refer to the Government’s guidance here and here.

You should wash your hands thoroughly when you arrive at work, using the handwashing facilities or hand sanitisers provided. You should also wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you get home from work.

 

Hygiene and cleanliness

General measures

To reduce the risk of infection spread, we have introduced the following measures:

  • Pump hand sanitisers are available around the office. if you notice that they are running low, please advise Lisa.
  • Anti-bacterial wipes are also available, these are stored in the stationery cupboard. As above please advise Lisa if stock is running low.
  • Removing waste and belongings from the work area at the end of the day.
  • Please do not leave personal items at work.

Playing your part

While we are taking these stringent additional measures, we would like to remind you to play your part by:

  • Washing your hands often and thoroughly;
  • Avoiding touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose and mouth; and
  • Coughing or sneezing into a tissue, and binning it safely, or into your arm if a tissue is not available.

 

Social distancing measures

General measures

While at work, you should:

  • Maintain social distancing wherever possible, including in any common areas, workplace entrances and exits, and when using the lifts.
  • Wear a face covering when entering the office building and in any common areas.
  • Only make your own food and drink and do not share with others.

Meetings

As part of our social-distancing measures, workers should conduct meetings remotely where possible. When physical meetings are necessary:

  • Only essential participants should attend the meeting.
  • Meetings should be kept as short as possible.
  • Social distancing should be maintained throughout.
  • Objects such as stationary should not be shared.

 

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Our approach to additional PPE

In line with our COVID-19 risk assessment, the use of additional PPE (such as face masks) is not required.

Face coverings

The use of a face covering (which is not considered PPE) is a matter of individual choice. If you choose to use a face covering, you must follow the Government’s advice here. This advice includes that you:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before putting a face covering on and after removing it.
  • Change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you have touched it.
  • Change and wash your face covering daily.

The use of a face covering is not a replacement for observing our social distancing guidelines.