As a business our priorities have to be the protection of our staff and the continuation of services, and with this in mind we have sought advice from a number of bodies. The following is what we, as a business, will be doing from July 19th:
- Lift the limit on staff in offices but where people are able to work effectively from home, they should do so for at least the next 6 – 8 weeks when we will review it again. The lift of limited staff numbers should help those staff who are struggling to work from home;
- Staff should not work face to face but should continue to work at desks either side by side or back to back. The desks have been marked to allow for this and we should continue to work from desks marked with a green dot where applicable to ensure we keep distance between each other and do not sit face to face;
- Continue to maintain social distancing where possible;
- All staff must continue wearing masks, unless exempt from doing so, when moving around inside buildings and when they are in close contact with others;
- No physical contact with others. Including handshakes, hugging, high fives, etc;
- Removal of one-way systems where we have these in place;
- Cleaning of touch points still to be undertaken by cleaners;
- Continue to advise staff on extra handwashing and the cleaning of desks, etc at the beginning and end of each shift;
- Antibacterial gels and antibacterial wipes will be provided at all sites and placed in strategic locations to be used by all staff;
- Continue to maintain air conditioning and air ventilation systems (where appropriate) and ensure filters, etc. are checked and cleaned regularly;
- Where possible, windows should be kept open to allow for increased air flow through offices;
- Only essential meetings to be held face to face and these should be undertaken in well ventilated areas. Visitors and Contractors should continue to wear masks when in any of our sites;
- Any visitors / contractors should continue to complete the guidance for contractors and visitors form to declare that they will follow the rules we have in place, do not have any symptoms and will give us their contact details in case we need to contact them;
- Staff must stay at home if they are unwell with any of the listed symptoms and get tested immediately; and
- We recommend that all staff in offices or the field undertake twice weekly lateral flow tests as issued by the NHS. If they test positive, they must self-isolate.
With regards to the field service operation and visiting people’s homes we will continue to undertake the following:
- Wearing masks and other PPE as necessary when undertaking any visits. We should also ask people we are visiting if they would be willing / happy to wear a mask as well;
- Asking customers to leave internal doors open to minimise touching doors and door handles;
- Keeping contact within the property to a minimum and only touching what we need to;
- Asking the service user, their family or other persons within the property to maintain distance where possible;
- Continuing to ask Covid questions ahead of visits to ensure people are not self-isolating or have symptoms; and
- Use of hand sanitisers and antibacterial wipes prior to entering a property and upon exiting property in accordance with existing instructions.
We will review this again in 6-8 weeks in accordance with the guidance from Public Health England.