29 September 2020
The government last week announced further guidance regarding COVID and reverted to encouraging workers to work from home where possible. We have reviewed our guidance, which is as follows:
Operational staff and those based at Client sites:
Our existing working and travelling guidelines have been established to meet our operational needs, and as they continue to meet the guidelines, we do not intend to change them at this time. At sites managed by our clients, our operational teams and management will continue to attend the sites allowed for within the guidelines of the client, as required by our operational needs. We encourage you to discuss your ongoing arrangements with your manager.
Staff based at our own sites:
Local management will decide the arrangements based on operational requirements and local conditions. For Clare House (head office) we had previously intended to bring people back progressively from October, and this will no longer be the case. We encourage you not to attend the site unless agreed with your manager and notified to Rachel Timms/Elaine McCoy in advance. We are still undertaking building work and may require staff who normally work at Clare House to help in clearing documents, equipment and belongings where appropriate.
We would like to re-emphasise the need to work safely and within the guidelines of social distancing and hygiene maintenance at all times. Colder weather and the increasing number of cases in the community increase the risk of infection, so we must all remain vigilant.
For anyone returning to the workplace after a period of absence, we have COVID working procedures for all offices and locations; please ensure you have discussed them with your manager before attending a site for the first time. Familiarisation sessions will be held as required, please contact your local HSE Advisor via the HSE Inbox to attend one.
It is imperative that if you have any symptoms of COVID you do not attend work, and that you notify your line manager. You must isolate until you receive a test. Following any positive test, the workplace will need to be deep cleaned and any colleagues who have been in close contact
Where a colleague has identified themselves as positive in the workplace, the individual should go home and the workplace will be deep cleaned. Other employees are not required to be sent home to self-isolate unless they have been in close contact with the individual (within 2 metres for a period of more than 15 minutes), in which case they must self-isolate for 14 days and contact the NHS for a COVID test if they exhibit symptoms.
If you are have been in close contact with anyone outside of work who has developed symptoms or tested positive, or been contacted by Test & Trace, you must self isolate in line with the guidance by the Public Health bodies.
Please read the guidance issued and maintained by Public Health England/Scotland/Wales with regard to testing. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-workplace-guidance#guidance-for-employers
Public Health England has advised that testing is not advised for those not showing symptoms. For your information, legislation has been passed from 28 September that an individual who has had contact with someone who has tested positive, can be fined if they do not stay home and self isolate following contact by NHS Test and Trace and instructed to do so. Further guidance is included in our FAQs on the website.
We will continue to communicate with you and update you on any changes to these arrangements, but do please keep in touch with your manager for any specific team requirements. As always, please also check the website/Hub for updates and FAQs.
Your health, safety and wellbeing remain our priority and I thank you for your continued co-operation in ensuring the required levels of social distancing and hygiene are maintained at our sites and offices that are operational.